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THE RAJYA SABHA


matters. He is also assisted by competent supporting personnel of the Secretariat. In the beginning, the post of


Secretary, equivalent to the Secretary to Government of India, was created for the Rajya Sabha in 1952. It was redesignated as Secretary-General in 1973 but continued to remain equivalent to the post of Secretary to Government of India. In 1990, on the recommendation of the Committee of Parliament appointed by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and Speaker of the Lok Sabha (India’s House of the people), the pay scale, position and status of the post of Secretary-General was made equivalent to that of the post of the Cabinet Secretary in the government of India.


Appointment and privileges The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha


appoints the Secretary-General from among those who have made their mark by long years of service in the Parliament, state Legislatures or the civil services. Once appointed, if he is already in parliamentary service, he may continue in his post until 62 years of age. The Chairman in his discretion can


appoint any other suitable person as Secretary-General on a contractual basis, in which case the terms and conditions of appointment would be governed by the contract. In his capacity as the Officer of


the House, the Secretary-General enjoys the privileges of freedom from arrest, save on a criminal charge. He cannot be obstructed in the execution of his duty, as it would amount to a contempt of the House. The House treats as breach of its privilege not only acts directly tending to obstruct the Secretary-General or other


officers in the performance of their official duty but also any conduct which may indirectly deter them from doing their duty. He is answerable only to the Presiding Officer of the House and his action cannot be discussed inside the House.


Parliamentary responsibilities The work mandate of the Secretary-General falls under two main categories: parliamentary responsibilities and administrative responsibilities. Many of the responsibilities are prescribed in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha), but others have evolved in the form of practices and conventions. The Secretary-General’s


primary responsibility pertains to the sessions of the Rajya Sabha. Whenever a session of the House is


The Parliamentarian | 2012: Issue Three | 193


Above: Parliament House in New Delhi, home to both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.


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