Types of Majority: Absolute, Effective, Simple & Special Majority YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Types of Majority: Absolute, Effective, Simple & Special Majority | Political Science

Title: Types of Majorities

Types of Majorities
  • The majority required to pass a resolution, motion, or a bill varies depending upon the purpose.
  • As this is one of the most confusing areas for most students, we are coming up with a new post on the type of majorities used while voting in the Indian Parliament as well as State Legislatures.
  • There is no explicit classification of majorities in the Indian Constitution. They are Absolute Majority, Effective Majority, Simple Majority and Special Majority.

Absolute Majority

This majority is used during the general election, for the formation of Government at Centre and States.

Absolute Majority
  • It refers to a majority of more than 50 % of the total membership of the house. For example, as the total membership of Lok Sabha is 545, an absolute majority in Lok Sabha means – 50 % of 545 plus 1, i.e.. , 273.
  • Cases, where the absolute majority is used: In the normal business of the Parliament or State Legislature absolute majority, is not generally used. But this majority is used during the general election, for the formation of government at Center and States.

Effective Majority

Effective Majority
  • This majority is used in Removal of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assembly.
  • This is also used in Removal of Vice-president in β‚Ή – Article 67 (b) .
  • Effective Majority of the house means more than 50 % of the effective strength of the house. This implies that out of the total strength, we deduct the vacant seats. When the Indian Constitution mentions β€œall the then members” , that refers to the effective majority.
  • For example, in Rajya Sabha, out of the total strength of 245 members if there are 45 vacancies, then the effective strength of the house is 200. Then the effective majority is 50 % of 200 plus 1, i.e.. , 101.

Cases Where the Effective Majority is Used

  • Removal of Vice President in Rajya Sabha – Article 67 (b) .
  • Removal of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assembly.

Simple Majority

Simple Majority
  • This refers to the majority of more than 50 % of the members present and voting. This is also known as functional majority or working majority. The simple majority is the most frequently used form of majority in Parliamentary business. When the constitution or the laws do not specify the type of majority needed, the simple majority is considered for voting.
  • To understand simple majority, let us consider a situation in Lok Sabha. On a particular day, out of the total strength of 545,45 were absent and 100 abstained from voting on an issue. So only 400 members were present and voting. Then the simple majority is 50 % of 400 plus 1, i.e.. , 201.
  • Ordinary bills need to be passed with a simple majority in both Houses of the Parliament before it is sent to Indian President for his assent.

Cases Where the Simple Majority is Used

  • To pass Ordinary/Money/Financial bills.
  • To pass Non-Confidence Motion/Adjournment Motion/Censure Motion/Confidence Motion.
  • For the removal of Vice President majority required in Lok Sabha is the simple majority – A67 (b) .
  • To declare a financial emergency.
  • To declare a state emergency
  • Election of Speaker/Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha and State legislatures.
  • Constitution Amendment Bill under Article 368 which needs to be ratified by states, require only simple majority at State Legislatures.

Special Majority

Special Majority
Special Majority
  • All types of majorities other than the absolute, effective or simple majority is known as the special majority. A special majority are of 4 types, with different clauses.
    • Type 1 – Special Majority as Per Article 249.
    • Type 2 – Special Majority as per Article 368.
    • Type 3 – Special Majority as per Article 368 + 50 percent state ratification by a simple majority.
    • Type 4 – Special Majority as per A61.
  • Special majority as per article 368 requires a majority of rd members present and voting supported by more than 50 % of the total strength of the house. This type of majority is used for most of the Constitutional amendment bills. To pass a constitution amendment bill in Rajya Sabha, in addition to getting the support of 123 members, the bill should be favoured by more than rd of the members presents and voting.

Cases Where Special Majority as Per Article 368 is Used

  • To pass a constitutional amendment bill which does not affect federalism.
  • Removal of judges of SC/HC.
  • Removal of CEC/CAG.
  • Approval of national emergency requires special majority as per Article 368 in both houses.
  • Resolution by the state legislature for the creation/abolition of Legislative Council (Article 169) .

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