Sessions of State Legislature
The Governor shall from time to time summon the House or each House of the Legislature of the State to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session.
An adjournment suspends the work in a sitting for a specified time which may be hours, days or weeks. Adjournment sine die means terminating a sitting of the state legislature for an indefinte period. The power of the adjournment as well as adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer of the House.
The presiding officer (Speaker or Chairman) declares the House adjourned sine die, when the business of the session is completed. Within the next few days, the governor issues a notification for prorogation of the session. However, the governor can also prorogue the House which is in session.
Unlike an adjournment, a prorogation terminates a session of the House.
Although the legislative assemblies complete their normal tenure as prescribed by the Indian Constitution, yet their dissolution at an earlier date is not uncommon.
As per the provisions of Article 356 of the Indian Constitution, the state Assembly can be dissolved when any of the following factors prevent the state government from functioning as per the Constitution:
- When the state Assembly fails to form a government and elect a leader as Chief Minister
- Whenever there’s a breakdown of a coalition
- If Assembly elections are postponed for unavoidable reasons
- Insurgencies and internal subversions
- Prevention or facilitation of bifurcation of states
According to Article 365, if a state government fails to exercise its executive powers in compliance with the directions given by the Union government, the responsibility shifts to the governor of the state to assess the situation and recommend the dissolution of state Assembly to the Union cabinet. This proclamation is made by the President only when the governor is convinced that the state cannot function in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
The quorum of the meetings of a State Assembly is 1/10 of its membership or ten whichever is greater. This is so until the Assembly fixes the quorum otherwise, by law.
Language of State Legislature
The Supreme Court has held that there is no bar against a State Legislature declaring a language used in the State as an official language for the convenience of its citizens.
This means that a widely-used language in a State, once declared an official language by the State Legislature, would find a place in official communications, advertisements and even signposts.
Article 345 of the Constitution says “the Legislature of a State may by law adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of that State.”
Rights of Ministers and Advocate-General
Every Minister and the Advocate-General for a State shall have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, the legislative Assembly of the State or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, both Houses, and to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, any committee of the Legislature of which he may be named a member, but shall not, by virtue of this article, be entitled to vote.