The Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act, 2010

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The Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act, 2010 was enacted on 18th May, 2010. The Act provides for creation of Legislative Council in the State of Tamil Nadu.

Article 168 of the Constitution, provides for establishment of two Houses in six States and one House in other States. Where there are two Houses in a State, one is known as Legislative Council and other as Legislative Assembly. At the inception of article 168 of Constitution, a Legislative Council for the State of Madras was envisioned. The State was renamed as the State of Tamil Nadu vide the Madras State (Alteration of Name) Act, 1968. However, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council was abolished with effect from the 1st November, 1986 vide the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council (Abolition) Act, 1986. Clause (1) of Article 169 of the Constitution provides that Parliament may, provide for the abolition of the Legislative Council of a State having such a Council or for the creation of such a Council in a State having no such Council if the Legislative Assembly of the State passes a resolution to that effect by a majority of the total membership of the Assembly and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Assembly present and voting. On the 26th July, 1996, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly passed a resolution for creation of a Legislative Council in the State and a Bill, namely, the Legislative Council Bill, 1997 which provided for creation of a Legislative Council in the States of Punjab and Tamil Nadu was introduced in Lok Sabha on the 14th August, 1997 but the Bill lapsed on the dissolution of the Eleventh Lok Sabha. However, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly passed another resolution on the 12th September, 2001 rescinding its earlier resolution dated the 26th July, 1996 and hence no further action for revival of the proposal could be taken.  On the 12th April, 2010, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly passed a resolution in terms of clause (1) of article 169 of the Constitution for the creation of Legislative Council in that State. It is, accordingly, proposed to enact a law providing for the creation of Legislative Council for the State of Tamil Nadu with seventy-eight members paving way for giving better opportunity to people’s participation in governance and decision making. The expenditure in respect of the Legislative Council will have to be borne by the Government of Tamil Nadu.

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Section 3 of the Act necessitates formation of Tamil Nadu Legislative Council with assent of the President of India. Sub clause (2) of section 3 mandates that there shall be not more than 78 seats which shall consist of members elected by electorates, members of legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu, members appointed by the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Sub section (3) of the Act lays provision for determination of constituencies for purpose of elections in the State of Tamil Nadu, the number of seats allotted to each constituency shall also be determined by President in consonance with the Election Commission. Once the number of seats is determined and jurisdiction of constituencies is decided the Council i.e. Legislative Council shall be constituted in accordance with provisions of this Act,  also provisions of Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the Representation of the People Act, 1950 shall be complied with. While making entries in Representation of People Act, 1950 Tamil Nadu shall be succeeded by Karnataka. The entries of various bodies in state of Tamil Nadu shall come in the following manner i.e. Municipalities, Panchayat Union Council, Cantonment Boards and District Panchayats as referred under district Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act, 1994. Section 5 of the Act lays insertion of few words from The Representation of the People Act, 1951 the “and constituting the Legislative Council of the State of Tamil Nadu under the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act, 2010” shall follow ‘‘under the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council Act, 2005”.

Thus the Act lays down provisions for establishment of Legislative Council in the State of Tamil Nadu.

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by Vibhuti Nakta