July 31, 2013

Procedure For Passing Bills in Indian Parliament

Procedure For Passing Ordinary Bills: Any Bill, except a Money Bill, is called an Ordinary Bill. The primary function of the Parliament is law-making. The following procedure is followed for passing an Ordinary Bill.

1. First Reading of the Bill: The first stage of legislation is the introduction of a B ill. It may be introduced either by a Minister or by a private member. If a private member introduces a Bill he must give notice of his intention to the Speaker. If any member opposes the introduction of the Bill, it is decided by the majority of the vote. Every Bill that is adopted in the House has to be published in the Gazette. Usually, at the time of introduction of a Bill there is no debate.

2. Second Reading of the Bill:At this stage the Bill may be
a. taken into consideration, or
b. circulated for the purpose of eliciting public opinion, or
c. it may be referred to a Select Committee of the House,
d. to Joint Committee of both the Houses.
  • Committee Stage: A specially important measure usually goes to a Select Committee or Joint Committee which is expected to give its report within a specified period.
  • Report Stage : After submission of the report by the committee, Members can send in their amendments to the different provisions of the Bill.
  • Each clause is taken up by the House and amendments are moved, discussed and disposed of. 
  • When the clause by clause consideration is over and every clause is voted, the second reading of the Bill is over.
3. Third Reading of the Bill:
  • At this stage, the member in charge who has piloted the Bill moves that "the Bill be passed". 
  • At this reading normally only verbal or purely formal amendments are moved and discussion is limited. 
  • Once all the amendments are disposed off, the Bill is finally passed as a whole.
  •  It is then sent to the other House for its action.
Procedure in the Other House
In the other House, the Bill goes through the same procedure.
  • If the other House passes it with amendments it will be returned to the originating House, and if it accepts the amend­ments it will be presented to the President for his assent.
  • If the other House rejects the Bill altogether there is a joint sitting of the two Houses called for the purpose by the President.
Joint Sitting of the Two Houses
If the other House does not take any action on the Bill, keeping it "lying on the Table" for more than six months, the President may summon a joint sitting and is chaired by speaker of lok sabha.
In the Joint sitting of the two Houses the disputed provisions of the Bill are either adopted or rejected by a simple majority of the votes of the members present and voting.

President Assent
A bill that is finally passed by both the Houses, with the signature of the Speaker goes to the President for his assent. If the President gives his assent, the Bill becomes an Act.

Procedure in Financial Matters (Money Bill)
  • We have seen earlier that a Money Bill can originate only in the Lok Sabha. When it has passed it, it is sent to the Rajya Sabha which is given 14 days to send its recommendations. 
  • The Lok Sabha may accept them or reject them.
  • In case the Bill is not received back by the Lok Sabha after 14 days the Money Bill is considered to be passed by both the Houses. 
  • Since the Money Bill is introduced only on the recommendation of the President it is presumed that he has given his assent.


No comments: