Law Making Process in Indian Parliament
The Indian constitution gives the law making procedure in Indian Parliament. The primary function of the Indian Parliament is to make, fresh laws and to revise or abrogate existing laws.
Bills passed by the Parliament falls into two categories:
- (a) money bills and
- (b) non-money or, ordinary or, public bills.
The procedures prescribed by the constitution for passing the two categories of bills are different.
Procedure of passing ordinary or public bills-An ordinary bill has to pass through different stages before becoming an Act. An ordinary bill may be introduced in either House of the Parliament.
The first stage is the introduction or the firstly reading of the bill. Most such bills are introduced by ministers. They are drafted by technical experts and approved by the Council of Ministers. Ordinary members of the Parliament may also introduce bills. One month’s notice has to be given to the speaker or, the chairman of the Rajya Sabha before the introduction of the bill. Then on a date fixed by the speaker or the chairman, the mover rises on his seat to move the bill. This is the introduction or the first reading of the bill which is a formal affair. No debate usually takes place at this stage. But on an unusual bill, for example the bill on Preventive Detention in 1954 may be opposed by the opposition at its very introduction. After introduction, the bill is published in the Gazette of India. The speaker or, the chairman may allow some bills to be gazette even before the first reading. Such hills do not require formal introduction in the Parliament.
The next stage in the life of a bill is the Second Reading which usually takes place after an interval of two days after the first reading. At this stage, any of the four courses are adopted.
- (1) The bill may be taken for consideration by the House at once.
- (2) It may be sent to a select committee of the House.
- (3) It may be sent to a joint select committee of the two Houses and
- (4) It may be circulated for eliciting public opinion. Very rarely bills are taken up for consideration straight way.
When the 4th course is adopted, the secretariat of the House concerned request the State Governments to publish the bill in the State Gazettes inviting opinions from local bodies and recognized associations. Such opinions are circulated among the members of the House.
If the bill is referred to a select committee, the mover selects the members of the committee, the Speaker or the Chairman appoints one member of the committee, the chairman of the committee. The committee makes a careful study of the bill and reports back to the House.
the original bill along with the report of the Select committee is circulated among the members. It is at this stage that the bill is debated clause by clause. At two stages in the career of a bill debates take place. In the Second Reading when the bill is debated in principle and at the report stage, when it is debated clause by clause. The Second Reading is most crucial in the life of the bill while the Report stage is most important as giving final shape to the bill. After the bill is passed by a majority vote, it is submitted for the Third Reading.
The Third Reading like the First Reading is only formal. No debate takes place and no bill is rejected at this stage.
After the bill is adopted at the Third Reading, it’s transmitted to the other House where it goes through all the stages as in the originating House. The other House may accept the bill. In that case it is sent to the President for his assent. The other House also may reject the bill or, may introduce amendments not acceptable to the original House or, may not return the bill within six months. In any of such case, a constitutional deadlock develops between the two Houses. The President may call a joint session of the two Houses to resolve the deadlock. The Speaker or in his absence the Deputy Speaker presides over such joint sessions. The deadlock is dissolved by majority vote.
Finally the bill passed by both Houses goes to the President for his assent. If the President assents to the bill, it becomes a law. The President may return the bill for reconsideration. If the bill is sent back to the President with or, without amendments, the President cannot withhold his assent. This complicated and time consuming procedure is adopted to prevent hasty legislation.