Current Affairs
Daily Bits

President’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    30th Jan, 2021

Context

  • This joint sitting of Parliament which is being held during the time of the Coronavirus pandemic has great significance.

Presidential address of joint sitting of Parliament

  • The Constitution gives the President the power to address either House or a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament.
  • Article 87 of the Constitution of India provides two special occasions on which the President addresses a joint sitting.
    1. To address the opening session of a new legislature after a general election.
    2. To address the first sitting of Parliament each year.
  • A session of a new or continuing legislature cannot begin without fulfilling this requirement.
  • When the Constitution came into force, the President was required to address each session of Parliament. The First Amendment to the Constitution in 1951 changed this position and made the President’s address once a year.

Joint Sitting of Parliament

  • The joint sitting of the Parliament is called by the President under Article 108.
  • As per Article 108 of Constitution, a Joint session of Parliament can be summoned in the following situations.
  • If after a Bill has been passed by one House and submitted to the other House—
    1. The Bill is rejected by the other House
    2. the Houses have finally disagreed as to the amendments to be made in the Bill
    3. more than six months elapse from the date of the reception of the Bill by the other House without the Bill being passed by it
  • If the above conditions are satisfied, the President of India may summon the joint sitting of both the houses of parliament.

Exceptions to the joint sitting

These two bills cannot be referred to a joint sitting:

1. Money Bill

  • Under the Constitution of India, money bills require the approval of the Lok Sabha only. 
  • Rajya Sabha can make recommendations to Lok Sabha, which it is not required to accept.
  • Even if Rajya Sabha doesn't pass a money bill within 14 days, it is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses of Parliament after the expiry of the above period.
  • Therefore, a requirement to summon a joint session can never arise in the case of a money bill.

2. Constitution Amendment Bill

  • Article 368 of Indian constitution require that constitution of India can be amended by both houses of parliament by 2/3 majority (special majority) .
  • In case of disagreement between both houses, there is no provision to summon a joint session of parliament.

Who presides the joint sitting?

  • It is presided over by the Speaker or, in their absence, by the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha or in their absence, the Deputy-Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.
  • The Chairperson doesn't preside over the joint session at any means/cost.
  • If any of the above officers are not present then any other member of the Parliament can preside by consensus of both the House.