Procedure for bill passage

The procedure followed in both houses to pass bills into act is same. The bills go through the same stages in both houses. Bills can be public bills [introduced by minister, needs 7 days prior notice and is drafted by govt department in consultation with law dept.] OR private bills [introduced by anyone but a minister, needs a month notice and drafted by the concerned member].

Parliament makes laws in skeletal form and the executive has to make detailed rules and regulations within framework of the law. This is called delegated legislation; executive legislation or subordinate legislation;

Ordinary bill:

First reading: Member asks for the leave of the house to introduce the bill. If the leave is granted he introduces title and objectives, the bill is published in the gazette of India. If bill is published before its introduction leave of the house isn’t needed. No debates or voting takes place.

Second reading: Detailed scrutiny of bill.

A) Here printed copies of the bill are given to all house members. The house can take the bill for immediate consideration or at a fixed date. It can be referred to a select committee or a joint committee of both houses. It can be circulated for public opinion.

B) A committee scrutinizes the bill and amends it if needed. A detailed clause by clause review is done. Committee submits report to the house.

C) The house examines the bill in detail. Each clause is examined and voted upon. Amendment if succeeded is added to the bill.

Third reading: The entire bill is discussed and voted; no amendments are allowed at this stage. If the bill is passed by a simple majority then it’s authenticated by the presiding officer and goes to the second house.

In the second house the bill can be either passed without amendments or passed with amendments or rejected or no action is taken. If the first house rejects the amendments or second house rejects bills or no action is taken for six months then a deadlock is deemed to have taken place and a joint sitting is called by the president.

Joint sitting is notified by the president after which no house can proceed on the bill. Speaker or in his absence deputy speaker or in his absence deputy chairman of RS presides over the joint sitting. If he is also absent the any member in the joint sitting can preside as chosen by the members present. Joint sitting can’t be done for money bills or constitution amendments.

In a joint sitting no new amendments can be made except if these amendments have caused disagreement between the two houses OR have been made necessary due to the delay in passing the bill. A bill needs to be passed by a simple majority.

If the president returns the bill for reconsideration then both houses have to pass it again with or without amendments then this time the president must have to give his assent.


Financial bills:

They are of three types: Money bills, financial bills – I and Financial bills – II;

Money bills can be introduced only in Lok Sabha and only after the president’s recommendation. It is a government bill and can be introduced only by a minister.

When it is passed by the Lok Sabha and transmitted to the Rajya Sabha. RS can’t amend it but only make recommendations or take no action or reject outright; in either case it has to return it within 14 days. The LS can accept or reject the recommendations and then it goes to the president.

Bill is a money bill if it deals with:

  1. Provisions of taxation;
  2. Borrowing by the union government;
  3. appropriation of funds from the consolidated fund of India;
  4. Payment into or withdrawal from consolidated fund or contingency fund of India;
  5. Declaration of amount charged on consolidated fund or increasing this amount;
  6. Audit of accounts of union or states;
  7. receipts of money on account of consolidated fund or public account of India or custody or issue of such money;

      It is not a money bill if it deals with only:

  1. Provisions of taxation by local body or at local levels; imposition of fines or penalties; demand for licence fees or service fees;

      Financial bills – I:

     It can contain matters of money bills [all or some] but have to also contain provisions of general legislation.

     Such bills can be introduced only in LS and only after the president’s recommendation. But otherwise the procedure for passing it same as ordinary bills.

    Amendments to it in any house other than abolition or reduction of tax can be moved only after president’s recommendation. President can return the bill for reconsideration too.


      Financial bills – II:

      It doesn’t include any matter of a money bill but deals with expenditure from the consolidated fund of India. It can be passed by a house only if the president has directed it to consider such a bill. It doesn’t need president’s recommendation for introduction. Procedure for passing in both houses is same. President can give assent withhold or return it to house for reconsideration.

  • The President may notify to the Houses his intention to summon them for a joint sitting in case of disagreement arising between the two Houses in any of the followtng ways:-

    1. the Bill is rejected by the other House; Or

    2. the Houses have finally disagreed as to the amendments to be made in the Bill; or

    3. more than six months have elapsed from the date of the reception of the Bill by the other House without the Bill being passed by it.

  • No such notification can be made by the President if the But has already lapsed by the dissolution of the House of the People; but once the President has notified his intention to hold a joint sitting, the subsequent dissolution of the House of the People cannot stand in the way of the joint sitting being held.

  • As stated earlier, the Speaker will preside at the joint sitting; in the absence of the Speaker, such person as is determined by the Rules of Procedure made by the President (in consultation with the Chairman of Council of States and the Speaker of the House of People) shall preside

  • There are restrtctions on the amendments to the Bill which may be proposed at the joint sitting:

    1. If, after its passage in one House, the BUI has been rejected or has not been returned by the other House, only such amendments may be proposed at the joint sitting as are made necessary by the delay in the passage of the Bill.

    2. If the deadlock has been caused because the other House has proposed amendments to which the originating House cannol agree, then

    3. amendments necessary owing to the delay in the passage of the Bill. as well as

    4. other amendments as are relevant to the matters with respect to which the House have disagreed, may be proposed at the joint sitting.

    5. If at the joint sitting of the two Houses the Bill, with such amendments, if any, as are agreed to in joint sitting, is passed by a majority of the total number of members of both Houses present and voting, it shall be deemed for the purposes of this Constitution to have been passed by both the Houses.


Q. With reference to the Parliament of India, consider the following statements: (UPSC CSAT - 2017)
A private member’s bill is a bill presented by a Member of Parliament who is not elected but only nominated by the President of India.
Recently, a private member’s bill has been passed in the Parliament of India for the first time in its history.Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only

  2. 2 only

  3. Both 1 and 2

  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Solution: D

  1. Statement 1: It is introduced by any member who is not a Minister. A bill introduced by a Minister is called as a public bill / government bill.

  2. Statement 2: Around 14 private member’s bills have been passed since independence.

Q.Consider the following statements : 1. The Rajya Sabha has no power either to reject or to amend a Money Bill 2. The Rajya Sabha cannot vote on the Demands for Grants. 3. The Rajya Sabha cannot discuss the Annual Financial Statement. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (UPSC CSAT 2015)

  • 1 only

  • 1 and 2 only

  • 2 and 3 only

  • 1, 2 and 3

Ans . B

  1. Only the Lok Sabha can vote on the demand for grants. Rajya Sabha can only keep a money bill for not more than 14 days, before which the bill should be either returned to Lok Sabha with recommendations, or passed by the Rajya Sabha. In case of a disagreement between both the houses, the bill is deemed passed in the form it was passed by Lok Sabha.

  2. Every year the budget (annual financial statement as mentioned in the constitution) is discussed by the Rajya Sabha.

Q. When a bill is referred to a joint sitting both the Houses of the Parliament, has to be passed by(UPSC CSAT 2015)

  • a simple majority of member present and voting

  • three-fourths majority of member present and voting

  • two-thirds majority of the House

  • absolute majority of the House

Ans . A

  1. Such a sitting is summoned by the President to settle a deadlock between the two Houses on a bill. The bill is passed by a simple majority i.e. majority of the number of members present and voting.


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