In this article, we are going to do a step by step simple and easy discussion on the law making process in parliament of india, So in a country with rule of law, how is a law made; To understand it well, definitely read this article till the end, as well as read other related articles.
First of all you need to know basics of parliament, so must read and understand some basic things about parliament before reading and understanding this article;
|Lok Sabha: Role, Structure, Functions||Hindi||English|
|Rajya Sabha: Constitution, Powers||Hindi||English|
|Indian Parliament : Brief Discussion||Hindi||English|
|Parliament: Powers and Functions||Hindi||English|
Role of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in the Law making process in Parliament
Indian democratic system is a parliamentary system. That is why the biggest policy making body here is the Parliament. The Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha and the President are the pillars of the Parliament. If we talk about the President, then he gives final assent to any bill, so that that bill becomes an Act.
Before the bill reaches the President, whatever happens with that bill happens in both the houses of the Parliament i.e. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. This is where the law takes its form. So come let’s understand the law making process in parliament..;
Lok Sabha –
Lok Sabha is an assembly of common people where common people elect their representatives through direct voting and send them here. It is worth noting that each of the states and union territories have been given the status of a constituency to a particular geographical area on the basis of the population there. The winning candidates represent that constituency and sit in the Parliament and play an important role in the legislative process.
After the general elections are held, the leader of the political party with the majority party is appointed by the President as the Prime Minister . The Prime Minister elects some MPs from his party and assigns them the workloads of various ministries. All these group of ministers are called council of ministers and they are the real executive or government.
All these ministers are also an MP, that is why the group of all the MPs is called the legislature , whose number is currently 543. One of these MPs is elected and made the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, who is the head of the Lok Sabha and its representatives and plays an important role in the conduct of the business of the Lok Sabha.
The work of introducing a bill in the Lok Sabha is mainly done by the executive, (that’s why the bill is also called a government bill) but that bill is passed by the legislature. However, a private member can also introduce a bill, which is called a private bill.
Rajya Sabha –
The Rajya Sabha is an assembly of virtuous people representing the territories. The MPs of Rajya Sabha are elected through indirect method – proportional representation by the method of single transferable vote.
At present there are 245 members in the Rajya Sabha. Out of which 225 members represent the states and 8 members represent the union territories (Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry) and the remaining 12 members are nominated by the President.
The Vice President of India is the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and, like the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, plays an important role in the conduct of the business of the Rajya Sabha by staying within the constitutional scope. The members of the executive also present the bill here and like the Lok Sabha, it is necessary to get the bill passed from here also.
some important facts
Here one question may come to your mind that suppose Rajya Sabha is a gathering of virtuous people, a gathering of intellectuals. But most of the less educated people come to the Lok Sabha, many people are elected for the first time, who neither have much knowledge of the specifics of the constitution nor have the experience of running any institution. Yet how professionally the Parliament runs, how does this happen?
It happens that with the help of the Secretariat, both the Houses of Parliament have their own separate Secretariat staff who are highly educated and skilled in their work. The Secretariat of these two houses is headed by the Secretary General, who contribute from behind the scenes in the law making process in parliament of india.
If the government wants, it can first introduce a bill in either the Rajya Sabha or the Lok Sabha. But after it is passed in any one house, it has to be presented in the other house also.
| Normally Parliament works in 3 sessions 1. Budget session (February to May) 2. Monsoon session (July to September) 3. Winter session (November to December). Laws are made during these sessions. If the session is not going on and then there is a need for law, then ordinance has to be taken.
| The house runs only when at least 55 members are present in the Lok Sabha and at least 25 members are present in the Rajya Sabha, it is called a quorum.
Hindi and English are the languages of the proceedings of the House, however, if the Presiding Officer permits, a member can also speak in his mother tongue.
Work is done in two shifts in a day in Parliament. The first meeting in the morning from 11 am to 1 pm and the second meeting from 2 am to 6 pm. However, if the Presiding Officer wants, he can increase or decrease this time.
How many types of bills are introduced in the Parliament?
The Law making process in Parliament begins with a Bill. A bill is actually a draft of the law which explains what the law is about and why it is being brought. Anything can be added or subtracted from this draft by the legislature as required.
The passing of a bill by any house means that that house is completely satisfied with that bill. But what needs to be known here is that bills are generally introduced in four categories. All of which have their own specialties-
1. Constitution Amendment Bill: – That is, a bill through which the constitution is amended. There is a separate article on how this happens, the constitution amendment process , definitely read it.
2. Money Bill : – The bill related to tax, public expenditure etc. is called money bill.
3. Finance bill : – A bill related to revenue or expenditure is called a finance bill. There is a separate article on Money Bill and Finance Bill, you must read it.
4. Ordinary bill : – The bill which is introduced for making common law is called ordinary bill. In other words, all bills introduced other than financial matters are ordinary bills. Even the provisions of the Constitution Amendment Bill are similar.
In this article, we will try to know how a simple bill takes the form of an act or law.
Details of the law making process in Parliament
A bill has to pass through the following stages before it becomes an Act or a law.
1. First reading : –
After getting assent from the House, the Minister or any member of the House lays the Bill on the Table of Parliament and explains the title of the Bill and its purpose. At this stage there is no discussion on this bill, just this bill is published in the Gazette of India. This presentation of the bill is called the first reading .
If the bill is published in the Gazette before it is introduced, then the permission of the House is not required in respect of the bill.
2. Second reading :-
In this phase the bill is reviewed in detail and finalized. This stage consists of a simple debate, an inquiry by an expert committee. It is then brought up for consideration. In fact, this stage consists of three sub-stages, namely 1. Ordinary Debate Stage, 2. Inquiry by Committee and 3. Consideration Stage.
1. Ordinary Debate Stage :- Printed copies of the Bill are distributed among all the members. Generally, the principles and provisions of the Bill are discussed in this phase, but not discussed in detail.
At this stage, Parliament can usually take any of four steps:- (1) It may discuss it immediately or fix some other date for it, (2) It may refer to a Select Committee of the House. (3) It may be referred to a joint committee of both the Houses, or ( 4) it may be made public for the views of the public.
The Select Committee consists of the members of the House where the Bill was introduced and the Joint Committee consists of members from both the Houses.
2. Stage of inquiry by committee :- Normally the bill is referred to a Select Committee of the House. This committee considers the Bill in detail and clause-wise without changing the original subject. After review and discussion, the committee submits the bill back to the House.
3. Stage of Discussion :- After the Bill is received from the Select Committee, the House also reviews it. Each provision of the Bill is discussed and voted on clause-wise. At this stage, if a member wants to get some amendment done in it, then he can also introduce amendment for it, and if the amendment is accepted then they become part of the bill.
3. Third reading : –
In this phase there is a discussion regarding whether to accept or reject the bill i.e. vote on the bill. (No amendment is done to the bill at this stage.) If the House passes it with a majority, the bill is passed. After this, the bill is sent to the other house by the presiding officer for its consideration and acceptance.
Bills in the Second House:- A Bill in the Second House also passes through First Reading, Second Reading and Third Reading. But there are four options before the second house in this regard: (1) it can pass the bill in the same form and send it to the first house, (2) it can pass the bill with amendment and send it to the first house. It can send for reconsideration (3) It can reject the Bill, and (4) It can postpone the Bill without taking any action on it.
◼️ If the second house passes the bill with any kind of amendment and the first house accepts those amendments, then the bill is deemed to have been passed by both the houses and it is sent for the assent of the President.
On the other hand, if the amendments made by the second house are rejected by the first house or the second house rejects that bill or if the second house does not take any action on it for six months, then in such a situation the President to end the deadlock. Can call a joint sitting of both houses. If a majority of the members present and voting pass the bill in this joint sitting, it is deemed to have been passed by both the houses.
After this comes the President’s turn – the bill passed by the Parliament is sent for the approval of the President.
In this regard, the President has 3 options –
1. Either he gives his assent to the bill
2. Either he withholds the bill from giving his assent.
3. Or he sends that bill again to the Parliament for reconsideration.
If the President assent to the bill, it becomes an Act or a law. Thus the country gets a new law.
If the President does not give his assent, then that bill gets repealed.
And if the bill is sent for reconsideration and after necessary amendment, that bill again comes to the President, then the President is bound to give his assent.
So overall this is the process of making laws in Parliament. Through these processes, an ordinary bill becomes an Act.
Which bill lapses and which does not?
1. A bill under consideration, which is in the Lok Sabha, lapses,
2. Passed in the Lok Sabha but a bill pending in the Rajya Sabha lapses.
▪️ However, pending bills and pending assurances, which are to be examined by the Committee on Government Assurances, do not lapse on the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
▪️ A bill which has not been passed by reason of disagreement between the two houses and the President has called a joint sitting of both the houses before its dissolution, does not expire.
▪️ A bill which is under consideration in the Rajya Sabha but not passed by the Lok Sabha, does not expire.
▪️ A bill which is passed by both the houses but returned for reconsideration by the President does not expire.