LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE OF PARLIAMENT – ARTICLE 107 TO 122 OF INDIAN CONSTITUTION
MEANING OF CONSTITUTION
A Constitution means a legal document having a special legal sanctity which sets out the frame-work and the principal functions of the organs of the government of a state and declares the principles governing the operations of the government.
For a proper understanding of the Constitution, we need to know the historical process which led to its present indispensable form. It is however not necessary to go beyond what is known as the ‘British Period’ as modern political institutions originated and developed before this period only. The British Period in the history of India begins with the incorporation of ‘East India Company’ in the year 1600 in England. The various phases of the growth of our constitution from the advent of the English on the Indian shore can be broadly classified into
- 1600 to 1765- The coming of the British
- 1765 to 1858- Beginning of the British Rule
- 1858 to 1919- End of Company’s Rule
- 1919 to 1947- Introduction of Self-Government
- 1947 to 1950- Framing of New Constitution
When framing of Constitution was done by Constituent Assembly and review was finalized by Drafting committee the Constitution came into effect on 26th January 1950. After this the formation of three organs of the government was done for its better functioning and control of the nation.
ORGANS OF GOVERNMENT
India is a democratic nation where citizens choose their representative to fill offices and establish a government on their behalf. Every government has three organs the Legislative, Executive and the Judiciary. In accordance with the spirit of the Constitution, these governmental organs formulate laws, see to it that they are carried out, and interpret them.
MEANING OF LEGISLATURE
Legislature is an organ of the government which is duly assigned the task of framing laws and procedures as well as analysing the leadership and its decision for the growth and development of the nation.
COMPOSITION OF LEGISLATURE
Legislature of the Union, which is called Parliament consist of the President, and two Houses, known as Council of States and House of people. In India legislative power are vested in the hands of two houses which are Rajya Sabha (also known as Upper House) and Lok Sabha (also known as Lower House or House Of people).
FUNCTIONS OF LEGISLATURE
1-It is the cornerstone on which the executive and judicial branches of government are based.
2-It is also occasionally given priority over the other two since without legislation, laws cannot be carried out and applied.
LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE IN INDIA
India is both a developing country and a democracy. India gained its independence from the British on August 15, 1947, and on November 26, 1949, the country’s first constitution was ratified, leading to the formation of the Indian parliament. In India, there are two Houses: the Lok Sabha (House of the People), which may have up to 543 members, and the Rajya Sabha, which can have up to 245 members (Council). The importance of legislative procedure will be highlighted in this article. In large democracies like the US, UK, and others, the parliamentary system is an essential component of the political system.
WHAT IS LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE
The method used in the parliament to enact legislation is known as legislative procedure. In other words, the legislative Process is the name of the law-making process used by the Indian Parliament. The topic of legislative procedure is dealt in Indian Constitution from Article 107 to 122.
ARTICLES RELATING TO LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE
ARTICLE 107- PROVISION AS TO INTRODUCTION AND PASSING OF BILLS
The bills can ban be broadly classified into three categories which are
(i)- Money Bill (Article 110(1))
(ii)- Other Financial Emergency (Article 117(1))
(iii) Bills involving expenditure Article 117(3)
- An Ordinary Bill may originate in any House of Parliament.
- Each house has laid down a procedure for the passage of Bill.
- According to the procedure of the house a bill is passed through three stages commonly known as Readings. At first stage the Bill is introduced in the House. At this stage no discussion takes place. The second is the consideration stage where the Bill is discussed clause by clause. At this stage amendments may be moved. At the third reading stage a brief discussion of this bill takes place and the bill is finally passed.
- When the Bill is passed by one house it is sent to the other house, where a same procedure is repeated.
- If there is any disagreement between the House over the Bill, the Bill cannot be deemed to have been passed. To resolve such a deadlock over the Bill the method of joint sitting of the House is applied.
ARTICLE 108 – JOINT SITTING OF BOTH HOUSES IN CERTAIN CASES
According to Article 108 when a bill passed by one House and sent to another House-
- Is rejected by the House; or
- the House disagrees as the amendment to be made in the Bill; or
- the other house does not pass the bill and more than six months have passed the President may summon a joint sitting of both the Houses.
- However, if the relevant Bill has expired as a result of the dissolution of the Lok Sabha, the President cannot call a joint session. The President may call a joint sitting, but if the dissolution occurs after he has given notice of his intention to do so, the meeting will still be convened.
- The President may notify his intention to summon for joint sitting of House for the purpose of deliberation and voting on the Bill in dispute.
- If at the joint sitting of the two houses the Bill is passed by a majority of the total number of members of both Houses present and voting, it shall be deemed to have been passed by both the Houses. (Article 108(4)).
- During a joint session of the two Houses, no additional amendments to the Bill may be presented, with the exception of those that are required due to the delay in the Bill’s passage. The presiding officer’s judgement will be final if any amendments are required at all. (Art. 108(4)) (b).
ARTICLE 111 – ASSESNT TO THE BILL
No Bill can become law without the assent of the President even if has been passed by Both Houses of Parliament. Article 111, says that when a Bill has been passed by Both houses of parliament, it is sent to the President for its assent. The President may either-
- Give the Bill his approval, or
- he may withhold his assent, or
- he may return a Bill to the House for reconsideration with or without a message suggesting such amendments as he may recommend. When a Bill is so returned, the house shall consider in the light of the President message. The President, however, may not refuse to give his approval if the Bill is once more approved by both Houses, with or without changes.
ARTICLE 110- DEFINITION OF “MONEY BILL”
A money Bill is a bill which contains only provisions with respect to all or any of the following matters-
(a) the levying, repealing, waiving, modifying, or regulating of any tax.
(b)- The Government of India’s restrictions on borrowing money or providing any guarantees.
(c) the management of the Contingency Fund or the Consolidated Fund, including payments to or withdrawals from such funds.
(c) the appropriated use of funds from the Indian Consolidated Fund.
(e) announcing any expense that would be charged to India’s Consolidated Fund.
(f) the receipt of funds for the Consolidated Fund of India or the public account of India, the custody or release of such funds, or the audit of the Union’s or a state’s financial records.
(g) any ancillary matter to any of the items listed in sub-clause (a) to (f). However, a bill is not a money bill just because it provides for-
(1) the levying of fines or other monetary penalties,
(2) the payment of licence or service fees, or
(3) the imposition, elimination, remission, modification, or regulation of any tax by any local authority or organisation for local purposes (Article 110(2)).
ARTICLE 109-SPECIAL PROCEDURE IN RESPECT OF MONEY BILLS
- A Money Bill can be only introduced in Lok Sabha and not in Rajya Sabha (Article 109(1)). It can be only introduced with the recommendation of president.
- The Rajya Sabha receives the Money Bill for recommendation after the Lok Sabha approves it. Within 14 days of receiving the bill, the Rajya Sabha must send it back to the Lok Sabha with its recommendations.
- The Lok Sabha may either accept or reject all, or any of the recommendation of the Rajya Sabha. If Lok Sabah accepts any of the recommendations by the Rajya Sabha, the money Bill shall be deemed to have been passed by both House with amendments made by Rajya Sabha and accepted by Lok Sabha.
- It is not necessary for Lok Sabha to accept the recommendation of Rajya Sabha and if it does not take into consideration amendments of Rajya Sabha, then also Bill is said to be passed.
- If the Bill was sent to Rajya Sabha and it withhold the Bill for more than 14 days then the Bill was said to be passed by Rajya Sabha.
- In far as President assent is concerned in case of Money Bill the President may either give his assent or refuse to give his assent but he cannot refer it back to House.
DISTINCTION BETWEEN MONEY BILLS, FINANCIAL BILLS AND BILLS INVOLVING EXPENDITURE
- A Money Bill is a Bill which contain only matters mentioned in Article 110(1In addition to one or more of the issues listed in Article 110(1), a Financial Bill also addresses other issues. Consequently, a Financial Bill is a Money Bill that also includes general legislative provisions in addition to one or more items of Article 110. (1). All financial bills are money bills, but not all money bills are financial bills.
- In two matters the Money Bill and Financial Bill do not differ
- A financial bill, like a money bill, can only come from the Lok Sabha
- Like Money Bill, the Financial Bill also cannot be introduced without the recommendation of the president (Article 117(1)).
- Financial Bill and other Bills involving expenditure differ from a Money Bill in so far as the former can be amended or rejected by the Rajya Sabha like any ordinary Bill. The Rajya Sabha cannot amend or reject a Money Bill, and if there is deadlock between the Houses it can be resolved by Joint Session of the Houses. Thus, the Rajya Sabha has the same control over the Financial and other Bills involving expenditure.
- As regards the procedure for its passage, a Financial Bill is as good as an ordinary Bill except that a Financial Bill cannot be introduced without President’s recommendation and it can only be introduced in Lok Sabha. As a result, a Financial Bill is passed using the same standard procedure as for passing a regular bill.
- As far as Presidential assent is concerned in case of Money Bill the President may either give his assent or refuse his assent. In case of Financial Bill, he may, however, in addition, refer it back to the House with a message for recommendation.
ARTICLE 112- ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT
In accordance with Article 112, the President shall cause to be brought before both Houses of Parliament a yearly financial statement, often referred to as the Budget. This expenditure is shown under two heads-(a) the sums charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India and (b) the sums required to meet other expenditure out of the Consolidated Fund of India. The expenditure or revenue account should also be distinguished from the other expenditures.
The Consolidated Fund of India is saddled with the following expenses:
- The salary and allowance of the President and other expenditure relating to his office.
- Salaries and allowances of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and the Speaker and Deputy speaker of Lok Sabha.
- Debt charges for the Government of India is liable.
- Salaries, allowances and pension payable to Judges of the Supreme Court, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, judges of the High Court and Supreme Court.
- Any sums required to satisfy any judgement, decree or award of any court or arbitral tribunal.
(6) Any additional expenses made so chargeable by this Constitution or by legislation passed by Parliament.
ARTICLE 113-DISCUSSION AND VOTING ON BUDGET
- The Parliament shall not be asked to approve any expenditure that is charged to the Consolidated Fund of India. The Houses are also not prohibited from talking about any of these expenditures.
- The estimates which relate to this expenditure must be submitted to the Lok Sabha in the forms of demands for grants. The Lok Sabha has powers to assent or refuse to assent to any demand or to assent to any demand subject to the reduction of the amount specified therein. Without the President’s endorsement, no claim for a grant may be submitted.
ARTICLE 114-APPROPRIATION BILL
No money can be taken out from Consolidated Fund of India unless the Appropriation Act is passed (Article 114(3)). Therefore, after the demands for grant under Article 113 are passed by the Lok Sabha, a Bill known as Appropriation Bill is introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Bill details every grant given by the Lok Sabha as well as the charges made against the Consolidated Fund of India as stated in the prior declaration submitted to Parliament.
ARTICLE 115-SUPPLEMENTARY, ADDITIONAL OR EXCESS GRANT
If the amount authorized by the Appropriation Act to be expended for a particular service is found to be insufficient for the purposes of that year or when a need has arisen during the current financial year upon new service not contemplated for that year, for any additional expenditure, a supplementary grant is made by Parliament. The procedure is the same for both the Appropriation Act and the Supplementary grant.
ARTICLE 116 – VOTES ON ACCOUNT, VOTES ON CREDIT AND EXCEPTIONAL GRANTS
According under Article 116(a) the Lok Sabha can grant a limited sum from the Consolidated Fund of India to the executive to spend till the appropriation Act is passed by Parliament if the Government may need money to spend before it is passed.
ARTICLE 118 – GENERAL RULES OF PROCEDURE
Under Article 118 each House of Parliament is given the authority to establish rules governing its operations and conduct of business. This rule-making power of the Houses is, however subject to the provision of the Constitution. Parliament may for the purpose of the timely completion of financial business, regulate, by law the procedure and conduct of business, in each House of Parliament in relation to any financial matter or to any Money Bill (Article 119). The Business of the Parliament shall be conducted in Hindi or English. However, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha or the Chairman of the Rajya Sabah, as the case may be, may allow any member of the house to address the House in his native tongue if he is unable to sufficiently convey himself in Hindi or in English.
Article 119 – REGULATION BY LAW OF PROCEDURE IN PARLIAMENT IN RELATION TO FINANCIAL BUSINESS
In financial matters Parliament has effective control. The Annual Budget is presented to Parliament and passed by it. The appropriation Bill and the Financial Bill is also passed by Parliament, Unless the appropriation Bill is passed no money can be withdrawn by the Government from the Consolidated Fund of India.
Financial Standing committees
1-Public Accounts Committee- It reviews a variety of accounts and reports related to expenditures that are under the scope of the parliament. The committee consist of fifteen members of Parliament from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha including a minister. The tenure for its member is one year.
2-Estimates Committee- The primary duty of the estimate committee is to examine how government ministries and departments are using funds and making expenditures. The committee consist of 30 members from Lok Sabha, elected every year from amongst its member. The tenure for its member is one year.
3-Public Sector undertaking- It examines the finances and operations of state-owned PSU companies. It also monitors the various PSUs’ disinvestment programmes. The committee consist of 22 members from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, elected every year from amongst its member of respective houses according to the principle of proportional representation. The tenure for its member is for one year.
ARTICLE 120- LANGUAGE TO BE USED IN PARLIAMENT
The Business of the Parliament shall be conducted in Hindi or English. However, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha or the Chairman of the Rajya Sabah, as the case may be, may allow any member of the house to address the House in his native tongue if he is unable to sufficiently convey himself in Hindi or in English.
ARTICLE 121- RESTRICTION ON DISCUSSION IN PARLIAMENT
The Supreme Court or a High Court judge’s behaviour in the course of his responsibilities cannot be discussed in Parliament, unless when a motion calling for his removal is brought before the body. The goal of this article is to protect the judiciary’s independence.
Article 122-COURTS NOT TO ENQUIRE INTO THE PROCEEDINGS OF PARLIAMENT
According to Article 122, no court may challenge the legality of any legislative actions on the grounds of claimed procedural irregularities. No official or member of Parliament who has the ability to control how business is conducted or to preserve order in the House is subject to the jurisdiction of a court with regard to how such powers were used by him.
The Legislative procedure in Indian Constitution is stated so that the parliament work within the norms which are specified in the Constitution. The process is of utmost importance to the citizens as the policies or law framed by the legislature will have a great impact on the life of native citizens. The policies which are framed by the legislature are scrutinized by the members of the both houses to see that whether the policies framed are effective, constructive and productive.
Author: Animesh Nagvanshi,
ICFAI, Dehradun and 3rd Year/ Student