Legislative Procedures

Introduction

  • Legislative procedures in India refer to the process through which laws are formulated, debated, and enacted by the Parliament of India.
  • The Indian Parliament follows a bicameral system with two houses: the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People).

1. Introduction of Bills

a. Government Bills

  • Bills proposed by government ministers are known as government bills.
  • They are introduced in either house and are of various types, including Money Bills, Finance Bills, and Ordinary Bills.

b. Private Members' Bills

  • Bills introduced by members who are not part of the government are called private members' bills.
  • They are usually introduced on Fridays when private members are allowed to do so.

2. Bill Stages in Parliament

a. First Reading

  • The bill is introduced in either house and its title is read out.
  • There is no debate at this stage.

b. Second Reading

  • In this stage, the bill is examined in detail by the house.
  • Members discuss the bill, propose amendments, and debate its provisions.
  • After debate, the bill is put to a vote.

c. Committee Stage

  • If the bill is complex or requires further examination, it is sent to a parliamentary committee for detailed scrutiny.
  • The committee reviews the bill, holds discussions, and makes recommendations.

d. Report Stage

  • The bill, along with committee recommendations, is presented for further discussion.
  • Further amendments may be proposed and debated.

e. Third Reading

  • The final version of the bill, incorporating all changes, is debated.
  • Members vote on whether to pass the bill in its final form.

3. Passage in Both Houses

a. Lok Sabha

  • If a bill is introduced in the Lok Sabha, it goes through all the stages mentioned above.
  • If passed, it is sent to the Rajya Sabha.

b. Rajya Sabha

  • The Rajya Sabha reviews the bill and can suggest amendments.
  • If both houses agree on the bill, it is sent to the President for assent.

4. President's Assent

  • The President can:
    • Give assent to the bill, after which it becomes law.
    • Withhold assent (in rare cases).
    • Seek clarification or send it back for reconsideration.

5. Money Bills

  • Money bills deal with taxation and government finances.
  • They can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha.
  • The Rajya Sabha can suggest amendments but cannot veto a money bill.
  • Once passed by the Lok Sabha, it is sent to the President for assent.

6. Ordinary Bills

  • Ordinary bills can be introduced in either house.
  • Both houses must pass the bill for it to become law.