Parliament – Legislative Procedure of Passing Bills
Generally legislative procedure for introduction and passage of all bills are same in both the houses of Parliament except Money Bill. The bill can be introduced by either a minister or a private member in either house of Parliament except Money Bill. The types of bills and stages of passing in Parliament are as follows:-
- Introduction – To introduce an Ordinary bill (either by minister or private member in either house of Parliament), the member shall ask for leave to introduce the bill. After leave to bill is granted, the member shall introduce bill by reading titles and objectives.
- No discussion is allowed at this stage and bill is published in Gazette of India after introduction. There is no need to move for leave to introduce a bill if already published in Gazette of India.
- Any member, other than a Minister, desiring to move for leave to introduce a Bill, shall give notice of his intention (period of notice shall be 1month), and shall, together with the notice, submit a copy of the Bill and an explanatory Statement of Objects and Reasons which shall not contain arguments.
- When a Bill is introduced or on some subsequent occasion, the member in charge may make one of the following motions in regard to his Bill namely:-
- that it be taken into consideration; or
- that it be referred to a Select Committee of the House; or
- that it be referred to a Joint Committee of the Houses with the concurrence of other house; or
- that it be circulated for the purpose of eliciting opinion thereon:
Provided that no such motion shall be moved until copies of bill has been distributed to members at least two day before motion to be moved but speaker can allow earlier.
- Once any of motion is adopted, no amendment can be moved and bill can’t be discussed in detail until bill is taken into consideration but general provisions of bill can be discussed.
- Committee Stage – After submission of report either by Select or Joint Committee, the member in charge can move a motion to resend it to (Same or New) Select or Joint Committee w.r.t. some clauses or amendments or with instructions to add new provisions. In any case, after report the member in charge may move bill is to be taken into consideration.
- Consideration or Amendment Stage – After bill is taken into consideration, the bill is discussed clause by clause with the report of committee or public opinion. Any member can move relevant amendments to clauses of the bill. Each clause with amendment is voted separately if passed become part of bill.
- At this stage, discussion is confined to acceptance or rejection of bill and no amendments are allowed. The whole bill is put on vote and majority of present and voting accept it, the bill is considered to be passed by that house. After that, bill is sent to other house for consideration.
Transmission to Other House
- The same process is repeated in the other house to pass a bill. That House can take following action on the bill transmitted to it by other house:-
- If passed the bill in same format without any amendments then same is sent for assent of President.
- If passed the bill with some amendments then return it to originating house for reconsideration.
- If reject the bill then President can call for joint sitting;
- The house can ignore the bill and keep pending it.
The President may summon for joint sitting of both houses of Parliament if bill is rejected or amendment not agreed by originating house or no action taken by other house for 6months after reception of bill.
- If bill is passed by both houses of Parliament in same format then bill is sent for assent of President. The President has veto powers to either give assent or not to the bill (refer President).
- But after getting assent of President (which is the most likely to happen), the bill is become an Act from date his assent.
- Definition – A bill is deemed to be a money bill if it contains matters related to a) Taxation, b) borrowing of money by Govt of India, c) The appropriation of money out of Consolidated Fund of India (CFI), d) The Custody of CFI and Contingency fund of India, e) declaration of any expenses charged on CFI and f) receipt of money on account of the CFI or Public Account of India, and g) Any matters incidental to above specified matters in clauses (a) to (f).
- A Bill shall not be deemed to be a Money Bill by reason only that it provides for the imposition of fines penalties, payment of fees for licences or services rendered, or by reason that it provides for the imposition, abolition or regulation of any tax by any local authority or body for local purposes.
- The Money bill can be introduced by a minister only and can’t be introduced in Rajya Sabha. If any question arises whether a bill is money bill or not, the decision of Speaker of LS shall be final.
- After it is passed in LS, sent to Rajya Sabha for consideration. The RS has no power to reject or amend the bill. The RS shall send it back in LS within 14 days with the recommendations if not sent bill is deemed to be passed by both houses.
- The LS either accept or not any recommendation made by RS, the Money bill is deemed to be passed by both houses in form as considered by LS either with recommendation or not.
- After bills is passed, the same is sent for assent of President and President can’t return it for reconsideration either approval or rejection is allowed.
- The Financial bills are deals with matters of revenue and expenditure. The bill related to any of matters included in Article 110 can’t be introduced without recommendation of President. The Money bill is also a type of financial bill but requires certificate of Speaker of LS.
- Financial Bill (I) – it contains any matters related to Article 110 but not solely subjected to those matters. It means any legislation include taxation clause but doesn’t deal alone with taxation. This type of bill can be introduced only in Lok Sabha but with prior recommendation of President. The other legislative procedure is same as an ordinary bill i.e. RS can reject or amend the bill (Article 117 (1)).
- Financial Bill (II) – Any ordinary bill which contains provisions related to expenditure from Consolidated Fund of India. This type of bill can be introduced in both houses of Parliament but with prior recommendation of President and other procedures are same as an ordinary bill (Article 117 (3)).