1. Introduction

Bangladesh is a democratic country. Jatiya Sangsad is vested with the legislative powers of the Republic. The election of the Parliament held after every five years. The Parliament consists of 300 members elected in accordance with law from single territorial constituencies by direct election. After general election, first to elect a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker in the manner laid down in the Rules of Procedure. After the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, the House is adjourned for a short period so as to enable the newly elected Speaker and Deputy Speaker to take oath of their office. The House then meets with the new Speaker presiding. In most, the Speaker is required to be a Member of Parliament.

2. Office of the Speaker

After selecting the Speaker, they join their office and start job with Parliamentary Role. The powers and functions of the Speaker emanate from the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are deemed to have assumed their offices as soon as they take oath from the President after their election and continue in their offices until their respective successors take over generally at the commencement of a new Parliament. In the constitutional arrangement of Bangladesh, as soon as a care-taker government comes into power following the dissolution of Parliament and the Prime Minister and the members of the Cabinet, the Leader and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Whip and Whips of Parliament are deemed to have relieved themselves of their responsibilities which are completed by the Speaker. Only the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker continue in office as a link between one Parliament and the next.

It also mentioned here that, Parliament shall at the first sitting after any general election elect from among its members a Speaker and a deputy Speaker, and if either office becomes vacant shall within seven days or, if Parliament is not then sitting, at its first meeting thereafter, elect one of its members to fill the vacancy.

3. Activities of the Speaker to Strengthening the Parliamentary Democracy

Speaker 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 senates of 7 major Universities of the country. Besides, there are other statutory bodies and institutions to whose governing bodies he nominates Members of Parliament as prescribed by law. The speaker, as a rule, is seen as an impartial authority conducting the proceedings but it is important to appreciate that this may be different in legislatures that are not based on the Westminster model such as “The Westminster Model The British system of government, which is characterized by the way in which powers are merged through the counterbalancing of the Crown, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The head of state is the nominal or theoretical source of power. The exercise of both legislative and executive power lies with the majority party”[1]. He does his duty with integrity to strengthening the parliamentary democracy. The constitutional powers and responsibilities of the Speaker include the following:

The Speaker performs the functions of the President, if there is a provisional vacancy in that office or if the President is unable to perform his activities until a President is elected by Parliament or the President resumes his duties, as the case may be;

The Speaker administers oath to Members of Parliament or nominates someone for doing any specific goal;

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, if his/ her past performed is seemed responsible and speaker pleased on his duties;

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 and determine its leadership by the majority of votes through a division;

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, 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;

Speakers or other presiding officers do not enter into debate on any matter that is before the House. This is in keeping with the impartial stance required of them and, accordingly, they will usually not vote either.

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;

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.

All debate is carried out through the Speaker and it is to him or her, therefore, that all speeches are addressed. The Speaker will ensure that MPs are not interrupted unless they agree to give way, but MPs who obstruct or disturb proceedings will be called to order. At worst, the Speaker can even arrange for an MP to be suspended from further proceedings of the House or to be removed from the Chamber.

In regard to the record of proceedings the Speaker’s powers stretch to the ability to have objectionable words expunged and to order the media not to report some part of a debate if it is struck from the record. A Speaker’s rulings are made with due regard to previous rulings and he or she will always be aware that every decision taken can potentially create a new legal precedent such as “Legal Precedent: Most legal decisions are based on the precedent or authority determined from earlier cases that establish a law. A precedent which must be applied or followed is known as a mandatory or binding precedent or binding authority, while a precedent which is not mandatory but which is useful or relevant is known as a persuasive precedent or an advisory precedent. In either situation, a new case can establish a new trend and that can establish a precedent that indicates the next logical step in evolving interpretations of the law. Precedent can also be overruled in case law or the body of legal decisions that interprets prior legal cases, statutes and other legal authorities”[2].

The Speaker is exercising the functions of the President under article 54 the provisions of this article shall apply subject to the modifications that the reference to the Speaker in clause (1) shall be construed as a deference to the Deputy Speaker, and that the reference in clause (4) to the vacation by the President of his office shall be construed as a reference to the vacation by the Speaker of his office as Speaker; and on the passing of a resolution such as is referred to in clause (4) the Speaker shall cease to exercise the functions of President.

4. Power and Integrity of the Speaker

The Speaker has been vested with a number of powers and responsibilities under different statutes. 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:

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;

The Speaker decides all points of order raised in the House;

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;

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

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;

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

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;

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;

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

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

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

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;

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

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.

If a question is made to a minister, Speaker after consulting the concerned minister can allow to place questions within less than fifteen days.

No notice can be published by a member or any other person until it is accepted by Speaker and served among the members.

Speaker if he deems reasonable can allow members’ opinion prior to his decision. Speaker’s decision is final on the issue.

Speaker appointing the Parliament Members to select and conference committees;

Exercising additional committee appointment authority under party conference rules[3];

Making appointments to fill temporary vacancies in House administrative offices[4];

Speaker has now been vested with powers to direct answer to a Starred Question of a member who is absent in the House when his or her name is called.

5. Vacate the Speaker

The Speaker or Deputy Speaker shall vacate his office-

®    if he ceases to be a member of Parliament;

®    if he becomes a Minister;

®    if Parliament passes a resolution (after not less than fourteen days, notice has been given of the intention to move the resolution) supported by the votes of a majority of all the members thereof, requiring his removal from office;

®    if he resigns his office by writing under his hand delivered to the President;

®    if after a general election another member enters upon that office; or

®    in the case of the Deputy Speaker, if he enters upon the office of Speaker.

6. Others Duties for Parliamentary Democracy

There are various other functions required of them, which extend from presiding over committees of the House (in some jurisdictions these are limited to committees, commissions or boards dealing with the administration and management of the House) to representational duties both at home and abroad. Under the Parliament Secretariat Act 1994, the administrative responsibilities of the Parliament Secretariat is vested in him.

Speakers may also perform many other functions as the head of the legislature in which they are responsible, for example, for the general administration of the chamber and buildings as well as for security aspects. In this role they may have to act as chair of certain parliamentary committees, though some countries eschew placing the Speaker in such roles, as it may appear to detract from the impartiality of the office.

If a vacancy occurs in the office of President or if the President is unable to discharge the functions of his office on account of absence, illness or any other cause of Speaker shall discharge those functions until a President is elected or until the President resumes the functions of his office, as the case may be.

While the office of the Speaker is vacant or the Speaker is acting as President, or if it is determined by Parliament that the Speaker is otherwise unable to perform the functions of his office, those functions shall be performed by the Deputy Speaker or, if the office of the Deputy Speaker is vacant, by such member of Parliament as may be determined by or under the rules of procedure of Parliament; and during the absence of the Speaker from any sitting of Parliament the Deputy Speaker or, if he also is absent, such person as may be determined by or under the rules of procedure, shall act as Speaker.

At any sitting of Parliament, while a resolution for the removal of the Speaker from his office is under consideration the Speaker (or while any resolution for the removal of the Deputy Speaker form his office is under consideration, the Deputy Speaker) shall not preside, and the provisions of clause (3) shall apply in relation to every such sitting as they apply in relation to a sitting from which the Speaker or, as the case may be the Deputy Speaker is absent.

Speaker also capable to create a any kinds of committee to solve the stimulating situation on the Parliament according to role of the Parliament. His responsibility is predilection where has integrity. Every member of the Parliament is honor to him and speak with opposition by the him.

The Speaker or the Deputy Speaker, as the case may be, shall have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in, the proceedings of Parliament while any resolution for his removal from office is under consideration in Parliament, and shall be entitled to vote but only as a member.

Notwithstanding the provisions of clause (2) the Speaker or, as the case may be, the deputy speaker, shall be deemed to continue to hold office until his successor has entered upon office.

7. Conclusion

Speaker is the chief executive of Sangsad and he presides over sessions of the Sangsad. His other functions are to maintain order and discipline and to uphold the dignity of Sangsad. He is to remain neutral and his prime responsibility is to preserve the rights of members. His decision and ruling are to be carried out when Sangsad is in session. He can expel a member for the sake of maintaining discipline of Sangsad. Members of Sangsad are to remain respectful to the Speaker.



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[1] From commonwealth research paper (search by bibliography email), unit-2, role of the speaker of parliament, page no. 2.

[2] From commonwealth research paper (search by bibliography email), unit-2, role of the speaker of parliament, page no. 5.

[3] CRS report, page no. 2, 3rd para-from bullet point (search by bibliography email).

[4] CRS report, page no. 2, 3rd para-from bullet point (search by bibliography email).