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Under the Constitution of India, Uttar Pradesh has a Governor and a bicameral Legislature. The Lower House is called Vidhan Sahha having 404 members, out of which 403 are elected and 1 nominated and the Upper House, Vidhan Parishad having 100 members. The State has also a High Court at Allahabad with its bench at Lucknow. The executive power of the State is vested in the Governor as it is exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him according to the constitutional provisions.

Council of Ministers

All the executive business of the State is carried on in the name of the Governor. The Chief Minister has to inform the Governor about all the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers in regard to administration as also require the Council of Ministers to reconsider any matter on which a unilateral decision has been taken by a minister. The Governor has been made a component part of the Legislature under Article 168 of the Constitution and has been assigned certain functions. He summons both or either of the Houses of Legislature and also prorogues them. He is also empowered to suspend or dissolve the Vidhan Sabha.

Powers of the Governor

Before assuming office, the Governor is administered an oath by the Chief Justice of the High Court affirming to protect and defend the Constitution and to devote himself to the service and well-being of the people. Under the executive power of the State, the Governor is empowered to grant pardon, reprieve or remission, or to suspend or commute the punishment of any person convicted of any crime against Law.

Vidhan Sabha

The Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha has a total of 404 members including one Anglo-Indian member who is norminated by the Governor. Till 1967, it had a strength of 431 members including one nominated Anglo-Indian member. According to the recommendation of the Delimitation Commission, which is appointed after every Census, the State had been divided into 403 Vidhan Sabha Constituencies. The Term of the Vidhan Sabha is five years unless dissolved earlier. The election for it is held on the principle of 'one adult one vote'

Rules of the House

The Vidhan Sabha has the power to frame rules for regulating and laying down the procedure for the conduct of its business. All the matters coming before the House are decided by a majority vote. The quorum of the House is one-tenth of its membership. The business of the Vidhan Sabha is conducted by the Speaker and in his absence by the Deputy Speaker. Both of these are elected by the members by a majority of votes. The main busines of Vidhan Sabha is to enact laws, grant money for Government expenditure and exercise control over the activities of the Government through debates and raising matters of urgent public importance. The Language of the House is Hindi in Devanagri script. Legislative matters are placed before the House with the permission of the House in the shape of official or non-official bills. After this, the bill is taken up either for consideration of the House directly or referred to a Select or Joint-Select Committee. If the bill is passed after clause by clause consideration by the House, it is sent to the Vidhan Parishad which may either reject or pass it with amendments. In any case, the Vidhan Sabha may pass the bill with or without amendments. In case the bill so passed for the second time is rejected or passed with amendments to which the Vidhan Sabha does not agree or is kept pending for a period upto one month by the Vidhan Parishad, the bill is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses of the Legislature and sent to the Governor for his assent. But no money bill can be kept pending by the Vidhan Parishad for more than 14 days from the date of its receipt and if it is kept pending so, it will be deemed as passed by both the Houses and sent to the Governor for his assent. Budget estimates are put to the vote of the House. According to rules, the House can take 5 days for general debate on the estimates and another 24 days for passing them. The estimates are put before the House for sanction by the ministers on the recommendation of the Governor. They are in shape of demand of grant department-wise. The opposition can move cut motion on these demands. The Constitution has made provision for introduction of proposal for supplementary or additional grants in the House if the expenditure exceeds sanctioned money.

House Committees

The House has not enough time to deal with every matter that comes before it or to examine it in detail. So, it works through the Committees. There are committees to deal with Legislation matters like the Select Committee on bills or the Delegated Legislative Committee which examines rules, regulations and by laws framed by the Government underpowers vested in it under the various Acts and the Constitution. Besides, the House has three improtant Financial Committees-- the Estimates Committee, the Public Accounts Committee, and the Public Undertakings and Corporation Committee. The Estimates Committee examines the estimates presented in the House. The Public Accounts Committee examines the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India relating to this State and sees to it whether the money spent was actually available or not and had been spent for the purpose for which it was earmarked by the House. Uttar Pradesh is the first State to accept the Principle that the Chairman of Public Accounts Committee should be from the Opposition. The State has been following this convention since 1948, While it was adopted by the Lok Sabha only after 1967. The Pubic Undertakings and Corporation committee was set up only recently after the setting up of several public sector undertaking in the State. In view of the need for ensuring accountability of public undertakings to the Legislature and the same time preserving their autonomy, the Public Undertaing Committee examines their working and gives them directions so that they may function efficiently,economically and without any unnecessary interference from the Government.Special Committees Besides these Legislative and Financial Committees, there are other committees to assist in the conduct of the business of the House. The Assurance Committee examines the assurances given by the Government in the House, the Privileges Committee examines cases of violation of privileges raised in the House, while the Petition Committee looks into the petitions submitted to the Vidhan Sabha by the people from time of time. There is another Committee, the House Committee which deals with the boarding and loading facilities of the members. There is one more important committee of the House, the Business Advisory Committee, which allots and regulates time for business before the House. Uttar Pradesh has also the distinction of setting up of a Parliamentary Studies Committee a few years ago to study parliamentary affairs and give its suggestions. The committee has done important work regarding privileges of members, ordinance-issuing power of the Governor, inclusion of Vidhan Parishad members in financial and other committees and working of the committee itself. Another committee was set up to oversee the welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes and Denotified Tribes. In addition, there are 27 Standing Committees to advise the ministers.

Vidhan Parishad

The State has a bi-cameral Legislature since 1937. The Upper House or the Vidhan Parishad is a permanent House. Members are elected or nominated for six years and one-sixth of them retire every second year. It has 108 members, 12 of whom are nominated by the Governor.Thirty-nine members are elected each by the Vidhan Sabha and Local bodies and nine each by the teachers and graduates. The Vidhan Parishad has no right to vote on demands for money, nor can any money bill be introduced in it. No other bill can become a law unless passed by both the Hosuse. The presiding officers of Vidhan Parishad are known as Chairman and Deputy Chairman. They are elected and hold their offices like the presiding officers of Vidhan Sabha. Both the Houses of Legislature have their own separate Secretariats and Secretaries. They function independently of the State Government Secretariat and Secretaries. Both the Secretariats have been divided into sections which look after parliamentary, accounts and committee work. There is also a library for the use of members of the Legislature. It is the biggest of the Legislature libraries in the country. Members of both the Houses and Committees have the same privileges, powers and immunities as those of the members of the House of Commons in UK. Besides, no prosecution can be launched against them in courts for anything said on the floor of the House. An important and pioneering contribution made by Uttar Pradesh in the democratic process is the provision of office of the Leader of the Opposition by an Act. Under the new dispensation, he has been given a status at par with that of a minister. He is also given pay equal to that of a minister, and free furnished residence. Provision has also been made for car allowance, staff for his office and other facilities befitting his position. According to the aforesaid Act, the leader of the single largest recognised opposition party, having the strength to make up the quorum, is recognised as the Leader of the Opposition.

The Secretariat

Most departments of the Secretariat have heads of departments and heads of offices under their administrative control, who function as the executive authorities of the Government. All the government orders are issued in the name of the Governor but are signed by the Secretary or officers under him down to the rank of Under Secretary. The work of Government is conducted in Hindi, in Devanagri script. The Principal Secretaries, Secretaries, Special Secretaries, Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and Under-Secretaries are appointed either from the Central or State Administrative Services. Some Deputy Secretaries and Under Secretaries are also appointed from the permanent Secretariat Services. As a matter of fact, mostly permanent officers of the Secretariat are appointed to the post of Under Secretary. Offices in Judical and Legislative Departments are appointed from the Judicial Services. The work of the Secretariat can be divided broadly into the following categories:- (i) Personnel Administration (ii) Financial Administration (iii) Judicial and Legislative Affairs (iv) Law and Order (v) Levy and Collection of Taxes (vi) Economic Development and Conservation of Sources of State's Wealth (viii) Social Services (viii) Public Utility Services (ix) General Administration.

District and Divisional Administration

After the Secretariat and Heads of Departments, the Divisional Commissioner occupies an important place. He is fully responsible for law and order, revenue, administration and other matters pertaining to his division. He has to exercise supervision over the district officers, local bodies and planning and development works. Each division consists of certain districts. Each district is under the admistrative charge of a district officer who is also called the District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner. The District Officer is fully responsible for the law and order in his district and has extensive administrative, police and revenue powers. Besides maintaining revenue records, he has also to look after works relating to planning and development and land reforms. The district is further divided into tehsils, blocks and villages for administrative convenience and for collection of revenue and development works.

The Judiciary

The High Court is the apex court in the State in respect of civil and criminal cases. The Board of Revenue is the highest court in respect of revenue cases. Under Article 277 of the Constitution, the High Court has been given the power of superintendence over all others courts and tribunals. The High Court is a Court of records which means that its work and proceedings serve as perpetual evidence. Its records are of sich high authority that their content cannot be challenged in any lower court. As a court of record, it has also the power to punish persons guilty of its contempt. The Chief Justice of the High Court is appointed by the President of India on the advice of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India and the Governor of the State. Other Judges are appointed by him on the advice of the Chief Justice. Only such persons are eligible for the post of High Court who have worked as an advocate for at least ten years or held office in any Judicial Service for the same period. The High Court is empowered to issue writs to any person or office for protecting the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction in civil as well as criminal cases.

Subordinate Judicial Service

The Subordinate Judiciary has been divided into two parts 'The U.P. Civil Judicial Services' and 'The U.P. Higher Judicial Service'. The former consists of Munsifs and Civil Judges including Small Cause Judges and the latter of Civil and Sessions Judges (now Additional District Sessions Judges). The District Judge is the controller of the Subordinate Judicial Service at the district level. The State is divided into 46 judicial districts, each under the control of a District Judge. In certain cases Munsifs and Assistant Collectors and Assistant Session Judge also. The jurisdiction of the District Judge extends to more than one revenue district in some cases. On the civil side, the Munsif's Court is the lowest court. The next higher court is that of the Civil Judge. The highest court at the district level is that of the District Judge. In criminal cases, the Munsif has the powers of a Judicial Magistrate. From October 2, 1967, the Judicial Magistrates, who were hitherto under the Government, have been placed under the High Court. Thus there is now complete separation of judiciary from the executive except for revenue matters. On the revenue side, there are Assistant Collectors. Above them are additional Collectors and Collectors, who have appellate jurisdiction. Higher up are Divisional Commissioner and Additional Commissioners who exercise appellate jurisdication. The Board of Revenue is the highest court in revenue matters. Under the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat Raj, Nyaya Panchayats have also been set up. On civil side, they can hear certain cases up to a value or Rs.500. In IPC and other laws. They are not empowered to give prison sentence.

Uttar Pradesh Public Service Tribunal

The number of service cases of Government servants in courts was constantly rising. Such cases involved time and money of State Government officers and employees and of State corporations and companies. Keeping this in view, the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Tribunal was set up in 1976 with the objective of rendering speedy and cheaper justice to the employees.
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