Sessions of Parliament
There are generally 3 sessions a) Budget Session (Feb to May), b) Monsoon Session (Jul to Sep), and c) Winter Session (Nov to Dec) of Parliament organized every year. But time frame b/w two sessions can’t be more than 6 months i.e. Parliament shall meet at least two times in a year.
- Summoning – The President summon each house of Parliament before meeting. The time period b/w two sessions is called Recess.
- Adjournment – Each day of meeting of Parliament after summoning of a session is divided into two sittings, Morning (11am to 1pm) and Evening (2pm – 6pm). The adjournment is basically a device to terminate sitting of Parliament for specified time such as hours, days or weeks.
- Adjournment Sine Die – It is used to terminate meeting of Parliament for unspecified time or indefinite period and generally used due to disturbing elements. The power of adjourned is lie with Presiding officer of the house and he can recall meeting anytime even before specified time of meeting.
- Prorogation – The Presiding Officer (Speaker) declares the house adjourned sine die when business of session is completed. After that in few days, the President issues a notification of Prorogation of the session. The only difference is that after it all pending notices (exclude bills and related) lapsed on prorogation of the session. In Britain, end of session means end of all pending bills and business.
- Quorum – It means minimum number of members required to be present for the sitting of either of house of Parliament. This number is 1/10th of total membership of the house i.e. 55 for LS and 25 for RS.
- Languages – Initially, the constitution has declared English and Hindi to be languages for transacting business in Parliament but English shall ceases to be used after 15 yrs. The Official Languages Act (1963) allows English to be continued along with Hindi. The Presiding officer can allow a member to speak in his mother tongue but in both houses there shall be arrangement for simultaneous translation.
- Lame Duck Session – the members of LS who could not get re-elected to LS are called lame ducks. The last session of existing LS of that members is called Lame duck Session.
- Dissolution of LS – It happens after completion of general term (5yrs but can be extended in case of emergency) or when majority party lose confidence in LS or majority party resigns. In any of case, President can dissolve LS and call for new election. The status of pending bills after dissolution are as follows:-
- A bill pending in LS (either originate in LS or transmit by RS) lapses;
- A bill passed by LS but pending in RS lapses;
- A bill pending in RS but not passed by LS doesn’t lapse;
- A bill pending in both houses due to disagreement and President has notified for join sitting before dissolution doesn’t lapse;
- A bill passes by both houses and pending for President assent doesn’t lapse;
- A bill passed by both houses and President return for reconsideration doesn’t lapse;
Business Hours of Parliament
- Question Hour – the first hour of every sitting (say 11am – 12pm) is question hour and questions to be asked by generally ministers but in rare case to private members. The type of questions are:-
- Starred – it means oral answers required and supplementary questions if any (max 20/day).
- Unstarred – it means written answers required and no supplementary questions (max 230/day).
- Short Notice – it can be asked by giving notice not < 10 days and answered orally.
- Question to Private Member – it is asked when the subject matter of it pertains to any Bill, Resolution or any matter relating to the Business of the House for which that member is responsible. The Private Member can answer in way as consider necessary by Speaker.
- Zero Hour – This indicates informal discussion hour of sitting and not included in rules of business of parliament. The members can raise their issue without giving prior notice. It starts immediately after question hour and lasts till agenda of day is taken up (regular business). It is the innovation of India and exists since 1962.