80. “Composition of the Council of States.—(1) The Council of States shall consist of—
(a) twelve members to be nominated by the President in accordance with the provisions of clause (3); and
(b) not more than two hundred and thirty-eight representatives of the States and of the Union territories.
(2) The allocation of seats in the Council of States to be filled by representatives of the States and of the Union territories shall be in accordance with the provisions in that behalf contained in the Fourth Schedule.
(3) The members to be nominated by the President under sub-clause (a) of clause (1) shall consist of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as the following, namely:—
Literature, science, art and social service.
(4) The representatives of each State in the Council of States shall be elected members of the Legislative Assembly of the State in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
(5) The representatives of the Union Territories in the Council of States shall be chosen in such manner as Parliament may by law prescribe.”
This Article is an important feature of our Parliamentary structure. It specifies the composition of the Rajya Sabha i.e. Council of States which is otherwise called the “Upper House”. The main provisions of this Article are about the number of members of the Rajya Sabha and its procedure of induction on one hand and the allocation of seats into it and the nominating members on the other hand along with the process of representation of each State to such House.
This Article has four clauses. Clause (1) has two sub-clauses. Clause (1) and its sub-clauses (a) and (b) state that the President of India nominates 12 members and 238 representative members are elected from 28 States and seven Union Territories to the Rajya Sabha. Clause (2) of the Article states that the allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha is made by representatives of States and Union Territories in line of or in accordance with the provisions specified in the Fourth Schedule of this Constitution. The Fourth Schedule provides for the allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha. Presently the total allocation of seats is 233. The Fourth Schedule has been sub-planted by Articles 4(1) and 80 (2) of the Constitution.
Clause (3) of this Article provides about the qualities and traits of 12 members who are nominated by the President of India viz. they must have special knowledge or practical experience in the fields of literature, science, art and social service.
Clause (4) of this Article provides that the representatives of each and every State are elected by the Members of Legislative Assemblies of such State by the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. This means that the MLAs have a say in the composition of the Rajya Sabha.
Clause (5), on the other hand, states that the Parliament by law is empowered to make provision for the selection of representatives from the seven Union Territories into the Rajya Sabha.
On the whole, clauses (1) to (5) of this Article have made it a complete code for the composition of the Rajya Sabha with a clear strategy of nomination, representation, allocation, qualification and law making power of Parliament regarding the representatives from the Union Territories.
This Article is not the original Article in the conception of the Constitution in 1950. It has been amended three times till date by the Constitution 7th Amendment in 1956, Constitution 35th Amendment in 1974 and Constitution 36th Amendment in 1975. These amendments pertain to contemporary need adjustment in the Council of States or the Rajya Sabha for its composition in totality.