Judiciary and Constitution.

About the Research

Every country or state has three major bodies; Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. The Executive is the Government, Legislature is the Parliament and the Judiciary is the Court. In order to run a country or a state, these three major bodies should run collectively and smoothly. A nation cannot perform without the activities of these three bodies. The main person of the Executive is the Prime Minister; Legislature is the Speaker of the Parliament and Judiciary is the Chief Justice. These three people hold the top position of a country and have enough power to practice by a legal way.[1]

The Speaker is the chief officer of Parliament and holds the top position of a Parliament. And the office of Speaker enjoys great prestige, position and authority within Parliament. He has extensive powers to regulate the proceedings of Parliament under the Rules of Procedure.[2] The eligible person from the ruling government becomes Speaker by election process. Only the Speaker can conduct the Parliamentary process. He is the one who allots time for the Parliament members to go for the debate, bargain, bill pass and others. The election process of the Speaker and Parliamentary proceedings are same as England, because these procedures was introduced by the English men and we follow the same rule as we were under British rule for years. In our country, we try to follow the British rule in all other cases, but the system and the people make the difference here.

Our country is a democratic country and the democracy should be in all means. Democratic system is also there in the Parliament. The Speaker should be neutral enough to conduct the Parliamentary process otherwise the democracy will not be there inside the Parliament. In Bangladesh the time period of a government is 5 years. So when the new government comes, the Parliament the Speaker along with the Deputy Speaker and Whip changes. What happens in our country is the Speaker favors the ruling government as he was elected from that side. The Parliament member has 330 seats where there are fixed seats for the women’s, the majority seat for the ruling government and remaining seats for the opposition. The office of the Speaker is the Parliament and he holds the power to stable the Parliamentary democracy. He is the one who conducts the Parliament but in Bangladesh the Parliamentary democracy is not available. Where a Speaker who should play the role as the neutral person[3], here he is trying favor the ruling party. This creates Parliamentary unrest, political instability and the major problem that occurs is the democracy of a nation goes astray. The Speaker can develop and strengthen Parliamentary democracy as he has the powers to do that.

According to the law of the Parliamentary process, the Speaker will be elected from the ruling government of our country. The Speaker holds the top power to conduct the Parliamentary process and also to conduct the process. The Speaker should be neutral enough to conduct the Parliamentary process in order to establish democracy. But in our country, the Speaker favors the ruling government as he comes from that side.

In my research about Speakers office and his authority to maintain democratic Parliamentary Sessions, I have pointed out the roles and the authority of the Speaker (within Parliament) how important it is to maintain a democratic environment (within Parliament) and the current Parliamentary situation of our country.

Findings of the Research

Speaker’s Role and Parliamentary Democracy

In order to maintain a democratic tendency in the Parliament the Speaker has the role to play. Because if democracy is not available in the Parliament then unrest is sure to happen. And this also destroys a nation’s welfare and future. Problem occurs and political instability happens. Because when the opposition is not able to talk or debate in the Parliament, the debate cannot go on properly, the problems and situations are no shared properly. Again the democracy of the Parliament members is hampered. On the other hand, the three major bodies have to work collectively to run a country or a state. The Government the Parliament and the Court can ensure a fair democratic country. Unfortunately in our country which is not true. The government makes sure that during his ruling period only government itself can perform rather that the oppositions. For that reason the Speaker creates all sorts of obstacles to restrict the opposition to perform from their duties in the Parliament.

The Parliament session can be said active when the ruling government along with the opposition parties come and sit for the debate. The debate and their active response will make sure the session is successful. Here the Speaker plays the most important role. Speaker carries its own identity within the Parliament. The session starts and ends by the commands of the Speaker. The Speaker gives and allots time for the Parliament members to uphold their wants and needs and to solve problems by debates. Here only the Speaker can interrupt and gives permission to the members. In our Parliament the Speaker makes sure that only the ruling government Parliament members gets the chance. But this is not a healthy democratic Parliament situation. For this reason, the session does not end up as it should. Because opposition parties walks out because of Speaker and the ruling party gives too much emphasize on their own needs and they do not get the chance to seat for a healthy debate. This scenario is very common in very Parliament sessions from the very beginning of Bangladesh. The Speaker who is supposed to conduct the session in a neutral democratic way, he is not conducting so.

Powers and Functions of the Speaker

According to the Parliamentary proceedings, in exercise of his powers (the Speaker) whether vested in him by the Constitution, the Rules of Procedure or any other law, the Speaker of Jatiya Shangsad like his counterparts in any parliamentary democracy of the Westminster model, assumes a neutral role. He conducts, but does not take part in, the proceedings of the House. The Speaker cannot vote on any motion under discussion in the House. Only in case of a tie or equality of votes, he has to exercise his casting vote so as to help the House avoid a stalemate and arrive at a discussion. The powers and functions of the Speaker emanate from the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure. Some statutes have also vested him with some powers, duties and responsibilities. The constitutional powers and responsibilities of the Speaker include the following:[4]

I.       The Speaker performs the functions of the President, if there is a temporary vacancy in that office or if the President is unable to perform his functions until a President is elected or the President resumes his duties, as the case may be.

II.       The Speaker administers oath to Members of Parliament or nominates someone to do so.

III.       A person elected as Member of Parliament has to take oath of his office within 90 days of his election or lose his seat. The Speaker can extend this period for good cause.

IV.       Should a dispute arise as to the leadership of a parliamentary party, the Speaker has been invested with powers to resolve the dispute following the procedure laid down in clause (2) of Article 70[5] and determine its leadership by the majority of votes through a division.

V.       The Speaker causes a notification to be issued by the Parliament Secretariat declaring the seat of a Member of Parliament vacant on account of death, resignation and failure to take oath within 90 days of his election or within the time extended for this purpose by the Speaker, absence from Parliament without leave for ninety consecutive sitting days.

VI.       The Speaker also causes similar notification to be issued when a member resigns from, or votes against, the party which had nominated him/her as a candidate at the election or if a member earns any disqualification that make a person ineligible for election as a Member of Parliament. If, however, any dispute arises on these matters, the Speaker refers the matter to the Election Commission for a decision.

VII.       The Speaker authenticates all Bills passed in Parliament when they are presented to the President for his assent. If a Bill bears a certificate under the hand of the Speaker that it is a ‘money bill, then that certificate is conclusive for all purposes and cannot be questioned in any court.

The Speaker is the chief of the house so he enjoys maximum power within the Parliament, by the Rules of Procedure of Jatiya Shangsad. The following is only a short list of those powers and responsibilities that the Speaker enjoys or shoulders in the conduct of business and other related matters:

I.       He decides the admissibility of notices for questions, resolutions, petitions, questions of privileges, short discussions, half-an-hour discussions, adjournment motions, call attention and all other notices intended to be raised in the House for a discussion.

II.       The Speaker decides all points of order which are raised in the House.

III.       He decides the duration of discussion on any subject, if it is not already decided by the rules. He allocates time for each speaker to speak on a subject.

IV.       He can apply the guillotine on discussions on cut motions on demands for grants so as to put the demands direct to vote.

V.       He reads out messages of the President received on a Bill returned by him for reconsideration and if the Parliament is not in session he gets the message published in the Bulletin and lays it in the House in its first sitting after receipt of the message.

VI.       He can expunge any word uttered in the House which he considers to be un-parliamentary.

VII.       He nominates four important committees of the House and he himself is the ex-officio Chairman of two important committees viz. the Business Advisory Committee and the Committee on Rules of Procedure.

VIII.       He can convene a meeting of a standing committee on a Ministry if such meeting is not called by its chairman within the time prescribed by the rules.

IX.       The Speaker can authorise a meeting of a parliamentary committee to be held outside the precincts of Parliament

X.       The Speaker gives final decision as to whether a document is relevant or not for production before a parliamentary committee.

XI.       The Speaker has to be informed if a Member of Parliament is arrested or when he is released from custody.

XII.       In case of a disorderly conduct of a member in the House, the Speaker can direct him to go out of the House and take other disciplinary action against him.

XIII.       The Speaker controls entry into those parts of the House which are exclusively reserved for members.

XIV.       If any matter arises in connection with the business of the House or in the committees for which no provision exists in the Rules of Procedure, the matter is decided by the Speaker.[6]

The Speaker has been vested with a number of powers and responsibilities under different statutes. Under the Parliament Secretariat Act 1994, the administrative responsibilities of the Parliament Secretariat are vested in him. He is the final authority for the sanction of expenditure out of the budget of the Parliament Secretariat. He also nominates such number of Members of Parliament, as prescribed in the relevant law, to the senate’s of 7 major Universities of the country. Besides, there are other statutory bodies and institutions to whose governing body he nominates Members of Parliament as prescribed by law. [7]

All these points and rules clearly show that Speaker is the chief of the Parliament house. He holds the maximum power within the Parliament. Unfortunately in our Parliament house, the Speaker follows all these rules but exercises bad power on the oppositions. Speaker does not maintain a healthy democratic environment within the Parliament sessions and thus unrest takes place. This unrest has also brought session cancellation by “walk out[8]” of the oppositions.

Ruling Government and the Speaker

According to the Constitution, the Speaker should come from the ruling party[9]. This elected person will run the Parliament. The job of the Speaker is to establish a democratic environment so the both the ruling party and the oppositions can seat for the debate to run the Parliamentary session. The Speaker should be neutral enough to establish a healthy debate. But unfortunately the Speaker of Jatiya Shangsad is not liberal to the oppositions. The Speaker favors the ruling party but the opposition is being neglected from the very beginning. The common problem that occurs is when opposition party comes to the speech the Speaker gives them limited time with lots of interruptions, rejects the debate, and shows no respect. If the opposition Parliament member faces this kind of obstacle they are forced to Walk Out from the Parliamentary Session. This is not the sign of the democracy in the Parliament Sessions.

These kind of within Parliamentary problems create unrest among the political parties. The major problem it creates is the cancellation of Parliament Session, and the session cannot be continued without the opposition parties. Here the opposition is simply boycotting the session by walking out and they are forced to. Cancellation of Parliament Session is a major issue. A nation’s welfare depends upon a healthy Parliament Session. For a nation’s welfare, the three major bodies Government, Parliament and Court should work collectively. If any of these fail to perform, the healthy situation of a country disappears. Unfortunately the Parliament is not performing to be honest and therefore the harmony is not possible. And when the harmony is gone unrest is sure and democracy will also disappear.

During Parliament Sessions, we can see that the Speaker is always busy favoring the ruling parties[10]. Whereas the Speaker is suppose to maintain democracy. When the Speaker is busy to entertain the ruling party, the word democracy disappears from the Parliament. But it is mentioned by law that Parliamentary Session should be democratic. Again the Speaker is taking the oath after he is elected. In the oath, he is telling to the nation that he will be neutral and will maintain a democratic Parliament.


After running my research, the facts came out that the Parliamentary Sessions are not democratic which it should be. Because the Speaker may not playing neutral enough to ensure a democratic Parliament Session. A successful Parliament Session brings positive changes for a nation. For a healthy democratic country the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary body have to work together. If not, there will be no democratic situation throughout the country. Even if one of these three major bodies does not work properly, the whole system gets affected significantly. For example, if the Legislature body which denotes the Parliament does not perform as it should have, the total system collapses and the unrest is sure to happen within the Parliament. Unrest may cause serious harm to the country though it is happening within the Parliament. For this reason the opposition party just walks out from the session because the speaker and the ruling government do not cooperate with them properly. Without the active participation of the opposition, the Parliament Session cannot be conducted. Opposition walks out[11] from the Parliament Session. This problem clearly shows that opposition party is not getting the benefit from the Parliamentary Sessions. A Parliament Session is very important for a country and without the participation of the opposition the Session remains unfinished. But if a Speaker is neutral and strict enough, then he can balance the democracy as it should be during the Parliament Sessions.

The Speaker is the chief of the Parliament and holds the maximum power[12] to exercise within the Parliament. But in order to maintain democratic Parliament Session, the Speaker should be aware. The office of the Speaker is the Parliament and he holds the power to stable the Parliamentary democracy. He is the one who conducts the Parliament but in Bangladesh the Parliamentary democracy is not available. The Speaker who should play the role as the neutral person, is not playing the actual role.

A country or a state needs government, parliament and the court to maintain a healthy political and legal environment. If one of these major parts starts working against the flow, country or a nation cannot go further. Parliamentary Sessions are one of the major concern of a nation and for this reason the Speaker should be more aware about the democracy within the Parliament. The Speaker’s office enjoys great power and authority[13] and also enjoys a countries important position. Understanding the significance of a Parliaments role, the Speaker will have to make sure the democracy within the Parliament. For a nation’s welfare, the three major bodies Government, Parliament and Court should work collectively. If any of these fail to perform, the healthy situation of a country disappears.

Reference and Bibliography

1.      The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

2.      Constitutional Law of Bangladesh

3.      www.parliament.gov.bd, Speakers and Deputy Speakers

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[1] The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

[2] Section 4.11, Constitutional Law of Bangladesh.

[3] According to The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, a Speaker will be neutral enough to conduct a Parliament Session in democratic way.

[4] Roles mentioned in The Constitution Of The People’s Republic Of Bangladesh.

[5] Article 70, Clause 2, The Constitution Of The People’s Republic Of Bangladesh.

[6] Reference from www.parliament.gov.bd, Speakers and Deputy Speakers, Roles and Authorities of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.

[7] Reference from www.parliament.gov.bd, Speakers and Deputy Speakers, Roles and Authorities of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.

[8] Boycott the Session, leaving the Parliamentary Session without ending it up by the opposition party.

[9] The Constitution Of The People’s Republic Of Bangladesh.

[10] Recent Parliament Sessions and current situation of the Parliament, Speaker dictates the opposition by giving much preference to the ruling party.

[11] When the Session goes against the opposition, the opposition party boycotts the Session by leaving the floor.

[12] The Constitution Of The People’s Republic Of Bangladesh.

[13] The power and the Authority of the Speaker, The Constitution Of The People’s Republic Of Bangladesh.