Legislature: Meaning and Types

India is governed by a parliamentary system with two Houses of Parliament modelled after the British system. The President of India serves as the country's national or nominal Head of State, in the same capacity as the Queen or King of England. Despite being the executive leader of the state, the President also has numerous legislative tasks that are crucial to the country's laws. The Parliament of India is divided into two chambers. It is made up of two chambers, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, as well as the President of India. The two houses of Parliament collaborate to create laws. The mandatory signature is one of the President of India's Legislative Powers, which are enforced throughout the country.

What is the Legislature?

The legislature is the branch of government in charge of enacting legislation. It is the agency's role to define the state's will and provide it with legal power and force. Simply put, the legislature is the instrument of government that creates laws. In any democratic state, the legislature has a very distinct and vital role. It is the assembly of the people's elected representatives, and it reflects popular national opinion and the people's authority.

The term "legislature" refers to anybody who legislates. The name "Legg" means "law," and "Lature" means "place," thus etymologically, the Legislature is a place for creating laws. "Parliament" is another phrase used as a synonym for "Legislature." This term is taken from the French word "parler," which means to "speak," "debate," and "consider."

Types of Legislature

Usually legislature is categorized as 

Unicameral Legislature

It is a type of legislature in which the state's or country's laws are made and implemented by a single house.

  • Unicameral National Legislature − In the case of the Unicameral Union Parliament, the first example is China, where the National People's Congress is the national legislature and the nation's highest institution. There is no other organ in China that administers the country's laws. Some additional countries with unicameral national legislatures include Iran, Norway, Sweden, and Hungary.

  • Unicameral State Legislature − Indian states are the greatest examples of a unicameral state legislature. Aspirants may be aware that several state legislatures in India are unicameral, meaning they have just one house to pass legislation. These are known as "legislative assemblies" in the states. Out of the 28 Indian states, 24 have a unicameral system.

Bicameral Legislature

It is a legislative body with two houses. India is one such example, with two houses in both the union and six of its 28 states. The job of administering and enforcing legislation is shared between the two chambers in a bicameral legislature.

The Indian Parliament has two houses at the central level

  • Lok Sabha (Lower House)

  • Rajya Sabha (Upper House)

At the state level, six of the 28 state legislatures have two houses

  • Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha))

  • Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad)

The names of the six states having bicameral legislatures are

  • Andhra Pradesh

  • Bihar

  • Karnataka

  • Maharashtra

  • Telangana

  • Uttar Pradesh

Functions of the Legislature

Legislature has the following functions

  • Legislative or Lawmaking Functions − Legislation, or the creation of laws, is the legislature's primary duty. In ancient times, laws were either formed from conventions, traditions, and religious scriptures or were given as mandates by rulers. However, in today's democratic society, the legislature is the primary source of legislation. The legislature is responsible for transforming the state's will into laws and giving them legal force. The legislature converts popular desires into official laws and statutes.

  • Deliberative Functions − Deliberating on subjects of national importance, public concerns, difficulties, and needs is an important duty of a contemporary legislature. The legislature uses this function to reflect popular opinion on a variety of problems. The arguments in the legislature are quite educational for the public.

  • Control over the Executive − A modern legislature has the authority to regulate the executive. In a parliamentary form of government, such as the one in place in India, the executive is collectively responsible before the legislature for all of its acts, decisions, and policies. It must answer to the legislature. The legislature has the authority to remove the administration by passing a vote of no-confidence or by rejecting the executive's policy, budget, or law. The Prime Minister and all other ministers are effectively legislative members. They are constrained by Parliament's rules and procedures.

  • Constituent Functions − The legislature has the authority to modify the constitution in practically every state. To do this, the legislature must approve special legislation known as amendments in accordance with the method outlined in the Constitution. In certain states, the legislature must adopt the amendment with a 2/3rds, 3/4ths, or absolute majority of votes.

  • Electoral Functions − A legislature is usually responsible for some electoral tasks. The Vice President is chosen by the Indian Parliament's two chambers. The Electoral College is made up of all elected MPs and MLAs and is responsible for electing the President of India. The Federal Legislature elects members of the Federal Council (executive) and the Federal Tribunal in Switzerland (judicial).

  • Judicial Functions − Traditionally, the legislature is granted certain judicial authority. Typically, the legislature is charged with acting as an impeachment court, i.e., as an investigative court for trying and removing high-ranking public officials on allegations of treason, misdemeanors, and high crimes. In India, the Union Parliament has the power to impeach the president. It also has the authority to issue a resolution calling for the dismissal of Supreme Court and High Court judges for misconduct or incompetence.

Limitations on the powers of the state legislature

  • Certain types of bills cannot be introduced in the state legislature without the President of India's prior approval.

  • Certain bills enacted by the state legislature do not become law until they get the president's approval after being reserved for his review by the governor.

  • The Constitution permits Parliament to enact legislation on matters on the State List if the Council of States finds that it is essential and expedient in the national interest for Parliament to do so.

  • While a proclamation of emergency is in effect, the Parliament has the authority to adopt legislation for the entire or any part of India's territory concerning any of the issues included in the State List.

  • During the operation of a declaration of the breakdown of the constitutional machinery, Parliament's legislative competence can also extend to the topics listed in the State List.


Because the executive has so much power over the legislature, it is not accountable to it. Its functions, such as creating laws and passing budgets, are minor. The legislature follows the executive's instructions. Thus, legislators wield significant authority over the executive in democratic nations, but the executive controls the legislative in totalitarian regimes. The legislative meaning is that it serves an important role as the primary arena in which all of the polity's opposing elements are brought together for organised engagement. If the collective consciousness of society is to be heard and democratically proclaimed, it can only be done in a legislature or a forum by the people's representatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the legislative power of India?

Ans. The Indian Parliament has legislative jurisdiction over the federal government. As a result, the laws passed by India's parliament are enforced across the country. The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha are India's two chambers of parliament.

Q2. What is the difference between the legislature and parliament?

Ans. The word "Parliament" refers to all legislative bodies. The Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha, and the President constitute India's Parliament. The legislature is the body that debates and passes legislation for the country or state. The Lok Sabha, for example, is a legislative body.

Q3. What role does the legislature play?

Ans. Passing laws, creating the government’s budget, confirming executive appointments, ratifying treaties, investigating the executive branch, impeaching and removing members of the administration and judiciary from office, and redressing constituent grievances are just some functions of the legislature.

Q4. What is the legislative branch of government?

Ans. In a given country, the legislative branch of government is in charge of enacting laws. In democracies, legislators are members of legislatures elected by the people.