October 19, 2013

History of Joint Sittings in Indian Parliament

In legislative matters, Rajya Sabha enjoys almost equal powers with Lok Sabha, except in the case of Money Bills where the latter has overriding powers. Such Bills cannot be introduced in Rajya Sabha and are deemed to have been passed if these are not returned to Lok Sabha within fourteen days.Hence there is no is no question of a deadlock as the Rajya Sabha has a limited say in Money bill matters. 

There is no provision for a joint sitting in case of a deadlock over a Constitution Amendment Bill.

When does a deadlock occur?
In the case of Bills, a disagreement between the two Houses may arise when a Bill passed by one House is rejected by the other House; or the Houses have finally disagreed as to the amendments to be made in the Bill; or more than six months lapse from the date of the reception of the Bill by the other House without the Bill being passed by it.

A joint sitting of the Houses is convened for this purpose. 
In the history of Parliament of India, there have been three occasions when both Houses of Parliament held a joint sitting to resolve deadlock on Bills between them, i.e.,

  • 6 and 9 May 1961 on the Dowry Prohibition Bill, 1959;
  • 17 May 1978 on the Banking Service Commission (Repeal) Bill, 1977; and
  • 26 March 2002 on the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2002.


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