There is no explicit classification of majorities in the Indian Constitution. But a careful reading of different articles in Indian Constitution would provide an idea about four types of majorities.
They are Absolute Majority, Effective Majority, Simple Majority and Special Majority. For ease of understanding, we have again classified Special Majority into four sub-types.
It refers to a majority of more than 50% of the total membership of the house. For example, as the total membership of Lok Sabha is 545, an absolute majority in Lok Sabha means – 50% of 545 plus 1, ie. 273. Cases, where the absolute majority is used: In the normal business of the Parliament or State Legislature absolute majority, is not generally used. But this majority is used during the general election, for the formation of government at Center and States.
Effective Majority of the house means more than 50% of the effective strength of the house. This implies that out of the total strength, we deduct the vacant seats. When the Indian Constitution mentions “all the then members”, that refers to the effective majority.
This refers to the majority of more than 50% of the members present and voting. This is also known as functional majority or working majority. The simple majority is the most frequently used form of majority in Parliamentary business. When the constitution or the laws do not specify the type of majority needed, the simple majority is considered for voting.
Special Majority as Per Article 249 Special majority as per article 249 requires a majority of 2/3rd members present and voting. For example, if out of the 245 members in Rajya Sabha, if only 150 are present and voting, then the special majority required as per article 249 would be 101.
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