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Know Different Types of Majorities Under Constitution

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 There are generally four types of majorities under the Constitution of India:

  1. Absolute: This majority would be there if the words are the majority of total membership of that house. In this type of majority, the maximum number of members in the house is divided by two and one would be added. So for example in Rajya Sabha, we would have 250 members and then the absolute majority would be 126 as 250/2 + 1 = 126.
  2. Effective: This means the effective strength of the house, here the words would be all the then members. In this we deduct the vacancies from total membership. Vacancy here means the seats which are empty. So for example we have 250 Rajya Sabha members and 10 have died then we would subtract 10 and then majority would be (250- 10)/ 2 = 240/2 + 1 = 121. We are here concerned not with the absence but vacancy.Types of Majorities under Constitution
  3. Simple: The words used here would be the members present and voting. This is also known as functional majority as it is most often used. In fact if no name of majority has been written, it would be simple majority. Article 100 uses the words “save as otherwise” provided in this Constitution would clarify that if one majority has been mentioned then we need to follow that but if no name has been mentioned then it would be a simple majority.
  4. Special: It means a majority other than absolute, effective and simple, whenever the word ’⅔ rd’ has been used with any type of word of any majority, it would be a special majority. For example: Two third majority (words as mentioned) of the members present and voting then it would be a special majority and not simple majority though the words are of simple majority.

Another type of majority is there under Article 368 which provides that if a bill has been passed by Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha then before it is sent to the President, it should be ratified by not less than half of the States, for example, the GST bill was such a bill that requires ratification by at least half of the States.

First published on March 11, 2021. 

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