UPPSC Target PT 90 days Planner

When few months are left for UPPSC Prelims 2021, it becomes very important for every aspirant to be on their toes and follow an organized plan which will help them clear this exam and keep them at ease during the preparation phase.

UPPSC Target PT in 90 Days Planner will provide you with a daily time table, which will comprise of the following:

  • Daily Value added Article (Static + Current Affairs)
  • Daily subject specific Quiz according to the given schedule
  • Snippets (GK through MAP) for maximizing your Prelims score.

Day 3: Polity - Union Executive and Legislature

Executive

The Union executive consists of the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the council of ministers and the attorney general of India. Articles 52 to 78 of Part V in the Constitution deal with the Union Executive.

President

S/He is the first citizen of India and acts as the symbol of unity, integrity and solidarity of the nation.

Qualifications

  • He is a citizen of India.
  • He is over 35 years of age.
  • He is otherwise qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha.
  • He must not hold any office of profit under the Government of India or any State or any other authority subject to the control of any of these governments.

However, the offices of the President or the Vice-President or the Governor of a State or a Minister for the union or for any state would not be deemed to be holding an office of profit.

Election

The President, as per the Article 54, is elected indirectly by members of Electoral College consisting of:

  • The elected members of both the Houses of Parliament
  • The elected members of the Legislative assemblies of the states; and
  • The elected members of the Legislative assemblies of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and of the Union Territory of Puducherry.

Note: The nominated members of both of Houses of Parliament, the nominated members of the state legislative assemblies, the members (both elected and nominated) of the state legislative councils (in case of the bicameral legislature) and the nominated members of the Legislative Assemblies of Delhi and Puducherry do not participate in the election of the President.

Manner of election

The election of the President is held in accordance with the system of Proportional Representation by means of the single transferable vote. The voting is done by secret ballot.

Term, Impeachment and Vacancy

Term

  • The President holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office except, he can resign from his office at any time by addressing the resignation letter to the Vice-President.
  • Further, he can also be removed from the office before completion of his term by the process of impeachment.
  • The President can hold office beyond his term of five years until his successor assumes charge.
  • He is also eligible for re-election to that office. He may be elected for any number of terms.

 Impeachment

  • Article 61 lays down the procedure for the impeachment of the President.
  • The only ground for impeachment is violation of the Constitution, although not been defined by the Constitution.
  • The charge against the President may be initiated in any house of the Parliament, signed by at least one fourth of the total number of members of the House, and a 14 days’ notice should be given to the President.
  • After the impeachment resolution is passed by a majority of not less than two third of the total membership of the House (absolute majority), it is sent to other House, which investigatethe matter. The President has the right to appear and be represented in such investigations.
  • If the investigating House too, passes the resolution by the absolute majority, then the President shall be removed from his office the date on which the resolution is passed.

Vacancy

A vacancy in the President’s office can occur in any of the following ways:

  1. on the expiry of his tenure of five years.
  2. by his resignation.
  3. on his removal by the process of impeachment.
  4. by his death.
  5. Otherwise, for example, when he becomes disqualified to hold office or when his election is declared void.

An election to fill the vacancy must be held before the expiration of the term. In case of any delay in conducting the election, the outgoing President continues to hold office (beyond his term of five years) in order to prevent an ‘interregnum’. In this situation, the Vice-President does not get the opportunity to discharge the functions of the President.

If the office falls vacant by resignation, removal, and death or otherwise, then election to fill the vacancy should be held within six months from the date of the occurrence of such a vacancy. The newly-elected President remains in office for a full term of five years from the date he assumes charge of his office. In this case, the Vice-President acts as the President until a new President is elected. Further, when the sitting President is unable to discharge his functions due to absence, illness or any other cause, the Vice- President discharges his functions until the President resumes his office.

In case the office of Vice-President is vacant, the Chief Justice of India (or if his office is also vacant, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court available) acts as the President or discharges the functions of the President.

When any person is acting as the President or discharging the functions of the President, he enjoys all the powers and immunities of the President and is entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as are determined by the Parliament.

Powers and Functions of the President

Executive powers

  • All the executive power of the Union is vested in the President. The executive power does not only mean the execution of laws passed by the legislative but also the powers to carry out the business of the Government. However, it is evident that President is not free to use his powers; rather he acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
  • The President appoints:
  • The Prime Minister of India.
  • Other Ministers of the Union.
  • The Attorney-General for India.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
  • The judges of the Supreme Court.
  • The judges of the High Courts of the States.
  • The Governor of a State
  • A commission to investigate interference with water-supplies.
  • The Finance Commission.
  • The Union Public Service Commission and joint Commissions for a group of States.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner and other members of the Election Commission
  • A Special Officer for the Schedule Castes and Tribes.
  • A Commission to report on the administration of Scheduled Areas.
  • A Commission to investigate into the condition of backward classes.
  • A Commission on Official Language.
  • Special Officer for linguistic minorities.
  • He can seek any information relating to the administration of affairs of the Union, and proposals for legislation from the prime minister.
  • He can require the Prime Minister to submit, for consideration of the council of ministers, any matter on which a decision has been taken by a minister but, which has not been considered by the council.
  • He can appoint a commission to investigate into the conditions of SCs, STs and other backward classes.
  • He directly administers the union territories through administrators appointed by him.
  • He can declare any area as scheduled area and has powers with respect to the administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas.

Legislative Powers

  • President has the power to summon or prorogue the Houses of Parliament and to dissolve the lower House. He shall also have the power to summon a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament in case of a deadlock between them.
  • The President addresses both Houses of Parliament assembled together, at the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year, and “inform Parliament of the causes of its summons”.
  • President has the right to send messages to either House of Parliament either in regard to any pending Bill or to any other matter, and the House must then consider the message “with all convenient dispatch”.
  • In the Rajya Sabha, 12 members are to be nominated by the President from persons having special knowledge or practical experience of literature, science, art and social service [Art. 80(1)].
  • He lays the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, Union Public Service Commission, Finance Commission, and others, before the Parliament.
  • The Constitution requires the previous sanction or recommendation of the President for introducing legislation on certain matters.
  • A Bill will not be an Act of the Indian Parliament unless and until it receives the assent of the President. When a Bill is presented to the President, after its passage in both Houses of Parliament, the President shall be entitled to take any of the following three steps:
  1. His assent to the Bill;
  2. He withholds his assent to the Bill; or
  3. He may, in the case of Bills other than Money Bills, return the Bill for reconsideration of the Houses, with or without a message suggesting amendments. A Money Bill cannot be returned for reconsideration.

In case of (c), if the Bill is passed again by both Houses of Parliament with or without amendment and again presented to the President, it would be obligatory upon him to declare his assent to it (Art. 111).

Types of ‘Veto power
  • Executive vetoes have been classified as absolute, qualified, suspensive and pocket veto. Besides the power to veto Union Legislation, the President of India shall also have the power of disallowance or return for reconsideration of a Bill of the State Legislature, which may have been reserved for his consideration by the Governor of the State (Art. 201).
  • Absolute Veto: Refusal of assent to any bill. The bill cannot become law, notwithstanding any vote of Parliament.
  • Qualified Veto: A veto is ‘qualified’ when it can be overridden by a higher majority of the Legislature and the Bill can be enacted as law with such majority vote, overriding the executive veto.It is not practiced in India.
  • Suspensive Veto: A veto is suspensive when the executive veto can be overridden by the Legislature by an ordinary majority.
  • Pocket Veto: By simply withholding a Bill during the last few days of the session of the Legislature, the Executive can prevent the Bill to become law.
  • He can promulgate ordinances when the Parliament is not in session. These ordinances must be approved by the Parliament within six weeks from its reassembly. He can also withdraw an ordinance at any time.The ordinance will have the same effect as of the other parliamentary legislations.

Judicial Powers

  • He appoints the Chief Justice and the judges of Supreme Court and high courts.
  • He can seek advice from the Supreme Court on any question of law or fact. However, the advice tendered by the Supreme Court is not binding on the President.
  • He can grant pardon, reprieve, respite and remission of punishment, or suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence:

(i) In all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a court-martial;

(ii) In all cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against a Union law; and

(iii) In all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.

The pardoning power of the President includes the following: –

  • Pardon- It removes both the sentence and the conviction and completely absolves the convict from all sentences, punishments and disqualifications.
  • Commutation- It denotes the substitution of one form of punishment for a lighter form. For example, a death sentence may be commuted to rigorous imprisonment, which in turn may be commuted to a simple imprisonment.
  • Remission- It implies reducing the period of sentence without changing its character. For example, a sentence of rigorous imprisonment for two years may be remitted to rigorous imprisonment for one year.
  • Respite- It denotes awarding a lesser sentence in place of one originally awarded due to some special fact, such as the physical disability of a convict or the pregnancy of a woman offender.
  • Reprieve- It implies a stay of the execution of a sentence (especially that of death) for a temporary period. Its purpose is to enable the convict to have time to seek pardon or commutation from the President.

Financial Powers

  • Money bills can be introduced in the Parliament only with his prior recommendation.
  • He causes to be laid before the Parliament the annual financial statement (i.e., the Union Budget).
  • No demand for a grant can be made except on his recommendation.
  • He can make advances out of the contingency fund of India to meet any unforeseen expenditure.
  • He constitutes a finance commission after every five years to recommend the distribution of revenues between the Centre and the states.

Emergency Powers

The Constitution confers extraordinary powers on the President to deal with the following three types of emergencies:

(a) National Emergency (Article 352);

(b) President’s Rule (Article 356 & 365); and

(c) Financial Emergency (Article 360)

Vice-President

  • The office of the Vice-President in India is modelled on the lines of the American Vice-President. He occupies the second highest office in the country.
  • The Vice-President holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.However, he can resign from his office at any time by addressing the resignation letter to the President.A formal impeachment is not required for his removal.
  • He can be removed by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha passed by an absolute majority (i.e., a majority of the total members of the House) and agreed to by the Lok Sabha (Simple Majority).
  • He is also eligible for re-election to that office. He may be elected for any number of terms.

Election

  • The Vice-President, like the president, is elected not directly by the people but by the method of indirect election.
  • The Electoral College is different from the Electoral College for the election of the President in the following two respects:
  1. It consists of both elected and nominated members of the Parliament (in the case of president, only elected members).
  2. It does not include the members of the state legislative assemblies (in the case of President, the elected members of the state legislative assemblies are included).

Qualifications

  • He should be a citizen of India.
  • He should have completed 35 years of age.
  • He should be qualified for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha.
  • He should not hold any office of profit under the Union government or any state government or any local authority or any other public authority.

Functions of the Vice-President

  • By virtue of his office (i.e., ex-officio), he is the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha that is, the normal function of the Vice-President is to preside over the Rajya Sabha.
  • The Vice-President acts as President when there is a vacancy in the office of the President.
  • He is not a member of Rajya Sabha; he has no right to vote, but can exercise a “Casting Vote”.
  • While he acts as the President, he does not draw the salary of the Chairman of the Council of State as he ceases to perform these duties as the Chairman.

Council of Minister

  • Article 74 declares that:
    1. There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice. However, the President may require the Council of Ministers to reconsider such advice and the President shall act in accordance with the advice tendered after such reconsideration.
    2. The advice tendered by Ministers to the President shall not be inquired into in any court.
  • Article 75 declares that:
    • The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
    • The total number of ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers, shall not exceed 15% of the total strength of the Lok Sabha (added by the 91st Amendment Act of 2003).
    • A member of either house of Parliament belonging to any political party who is disqualified on the ground of defection shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a minister(added by the 91st Amendment Act of 2003).
    • The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President (Individual Responsibility).
    • The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.
    • The President shall administer the oaths of office and secrecy to a minister.
    • A minister who is not a member of the Parliament (either house) for any period of six consecutive months shall cease to be a minister.
    • The salaries and allowances of ministers shall be determined by the Parliament.
  • Article 78: It shall be the duty of the Prime Minister
    • To communicate to the President all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration of the affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation
    • To furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation as the President may call for
    • If the President so requires, to submit for the consideration of the Council of Ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a Minister but which has not been considered by the Council
  • Article 88: Every minister shall have the right to speak and take part in the proceedings of either House, any joint sitting of the Houses and any Committee of Parliament of which he may be named a member. But he shall not be entitled to vote.

Special Article: President's Address and Motion of Thanks

President's Address

Article 86(1) of the Constitution provides that the President may address either House of Parliament or both Houses assembled together, and for that purpose require the attendance of members. However, since the commencement of the Constitution, there has not been any occasion when the President has addressed either House or both Houses assembled together, under the provision of this article.

Article 87 provides for the special address by the President. Clause (1) of that article provides that at the commencement of the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year, the President shall address both Houses of Parliament assembled together and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons. Such an Address is called 'special address'; and it is also an annual feature. No other business is transacted till the President has addressed both Houses of Parliament assembled together. The time and date of the President's Address are notified in the Parliamentary Bulletin, Part II.

This Address has to be to both Houses of Parliament assembled together. If at the time of commencement of the first session of the year, Lok Sabha is not in existence and has been dissolved, and Rajya Sabha has to meet, Rajya Sabha can have its session without the President's Address. This happened in 1977, when during the dissolution of Lok Sabha; Rajya Sabha had its session on 28 February 1977 without the President's Address.

In the case of the first session after each general election to Lok Sabha, the President addresses both Houses of Parliament assembled together after the members have made and subscribed the oath or affirmation and the Speaker has been elected.

The President's Address is a solemn and formal act under the Constitution. Utmost dignity and decorum befitting the occasion are maintained. Any action on the part of a member which mars the solemnity of the occasion of the President's Address or creates disturbance is viewed seriously and dealt with by the House concerned accordingly, either by disapproving the conduct of the member concerned or by constituting a Committee to go into it.

Contents of the Address

The President's Address is the statement of policy of the Government and, as such, is drafted by the Government which is responsible for its contents. The Address contains a review of various activities and achievements of the Government during the previous year and sets out the policies, projects and programmes which Government of the day wishes to pursue with regard to the important national and international issues. The Address also indicates, in broad terms, items of legislative business which are proposed to be brought during the sessions to be held in that year.

Laying of a Copy of the Address on the Table

In order that the Address delivered by the President forms part of, and is incorporated in the proceedings of the House, both the Houses meet separately in their respective Chambers half-an-hour after conclusion of the Address, when a copy each of the Hindi and the English versions of the Address, duly authenticated by the President, is laid on the Tables

Discussion on the Address by Motion of Thanks

Clause(2) of article 87 of the Constitution requires that provision shall be made by the rules regulating the procedure of either House for the allotment of time for discussion of the matters referred to in the President's Address.

Generally, the discussion on the Address is set down in the List of Business two to three days after the Address.

Scope of discussion

The scope of discussion on the Address is very wide and the members are free to speak on all sorts of national or international problems. Even matters which are not specifically mentioned in the Address are brought into discussion through amendments to Motion of Thanks. The only limitations are that members cannot refer to matters which are not the direct responsibility of the Central Government and that the name of the President cannot be brought in during the debate since the Government and not the President is responsible for the contents of the Address.

Notwithstanding that a day has been allotted for discussion on the President's Address, a motion or motions for leave to introduce Bills or other business of a formal character may be transacted before the House commences or continues the discussion on the Address. The discussion may also be postponed in favour of an urgent Government Bill or other business. The time allotted by the House for discussion on the Motion of Thanks is distributed amongst various parties and groups in proportion to their strength in the House.

Amendment to the Motion of Thanks

At the end of the discussion, the Prime Minister or any other Minister replies to the debate. Thereafter, the amendments are disposed, and then the Motion of Thanks is put to vote in the Houses.  If any of the amendments is accepted then the Motion of Thanks is adopted in the amended form.

This motion must be passed in both of the Houses. A failure to get motion of thanks passed amounts to defeat of government and leads to collapse of government. This is why, the Motion of Thanks is deemed to be a no-confidence motion.

Every year, a large number of amendments are moved by members of the opposition highlighting the issues or pinpointing the failure of the Government or criticising the policy enunciated in the Address. There have been few instances so far, when the Motion of Thanks was adopted by Rajya Sabha with amendments. The Motion of Thanks with an amendment was adopted for the first time on 30 January 1980. On 29 December 1989, the Motion of Thanks was adopted with six amend­ments.  Again on 12 March 2001, in2014, and in 2015, the Motion of Thanks was adopted with amendments.

After the Motion of Thanks is adopted, it is conveyed to the President by the Chairman/Speaker through a letter.

Union Legislature

Part-V (Article 79 – 122) of the Constitution deals with the organization, composition, duration, officers, procedures, privileges and powers of the Parliament.

Organisation

Article 79 provides for a Parliament consisting of the President and the two Houses viz. the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha). Though the President of India is not a member of either House of Parliament and does not sit in the Parliament to attend its meetings, he is an integral part of the Parliament

Qualifications for being members of parliament

  • A citizen of India
  • Not less than 30 years of age in the case of the Rajya Sabha and not less than 25 years in the case of the Lok Sabha
  • Must be registered as an elector for a parliamentary constituency (both for Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha).
  • Must possess other qualifications prescribed by Parliament. The Parliament has laid down the additional qualifications in the Representation of People Act (1951).
  • The Constitution also lays down that a person shall be disqualified from being a Member of Parliament if he is so disqualified on the ground of defection under the provisions of the Tenth Schedule.

Composition

Rajya Sabha

  • The Fourth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha to the states and union territories.The seats are allotted to the states in the Rajya Sabha on the basis of population. Hence, the number of representatives varies from state to state.
  • The maximum strength of the Rajya Sabha is fixed at 250, out of which, 238 are to be the representatives of the states and union territories (elected indirectly) and 12 are nominated by the president.
  • At present, the Rajya Sabha has 245 members. Of these, 225 members represent the states, 8 members represent the union territories and 12 members are nominated by the president.
  • The representatives of states in the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of state legislative assemblies. The election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
  • The representatives of each union territory in the Rajya Sabha are indirectly elected by members of an electoral college specially constituted for the purpose. Out of the 8 union territories, only three (Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Puducherry) have representation in Rajya Sabha.

Lok Sabha

  • The maximum strength of the Lok Sabha is fixed by the Constitution at 550. Nomination of 2 Anglo-Indian members was abolished with enactment of 104th Constitution Amendment Act, 2019.
  • 530 members are to be the representatives of the states and 20 members are to be the representatives of the union territories.
  • The current strength of the Lok Sabha seats is 543 based on the delimitation carried out on the basis of 1971 Census.
  • The representatives of states in the Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people based on the principle of universal adult franchise from the territorial constituencies in the states.
  • At present, the Lok Sabha has 543 members. Of these, 524 members represent the states, 19 members represent the union territories (1 for Ladakh and 5 for J&K)

Duration

  • As a permanent body, Rajya Sabha (first constituted in 1952) is subject to dissolution. However, one-third of its members retire every second year. The retiring members are eligible for re-election and re-nomination any number of times. Parliament in the Representation of the People Act (1951) provided that the term of office of a member of the Rajya Sabha shall be six years.
  • Lok Sabha is not a continuing chamber. Its normal term is five years from the date of its first meeting after the general elections, after which it automatically dissolves. However, the President is authorised to dissolve the Lok Sabha at any time even before the completion of five years and this cannot be challenged in a court of law. Further, the term of the Lok Sabha can be extended during the period of national emergency be a law of Parliament for one year at a time for any length of time but not beyond a period of six months after the emergency has ceased to operate.

Presiding Officers of Parliament

Speaker of Lok Sabha

  • The House of the people is presided over by the Speaker who is elected by the House from among its own members.
  • Usually, the Speaker remains in office during the life of the Lok Sabha. But, he has to vacate his office
    1. if he ceases to be a member of the Lok Sabha
    2. if he resigns by writing to the Deputy Speaker
    3. If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all then members of the Lok Sabha.

Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice. When a resolution for the removal of the Speaker is under consideration of the House, he cannot preside at the sitting of the House, though he may be present.

Note: Whenever the Lok Sabha is dissolved, the Speaker does not vacate his office and continues till the newly-elected Lok Sabha meets.

Powers and Functions

  • He is the guardian of powers and privileges of the members, House and its committees and the principal spokesperson of the House.
  • He maintains order and decorum in the House for conducting its business and regulating its proceedings. This is his primary responsibility and he has final power in this regard.
  • He presides, adjourns, or suspends its meeting if there is no quorum.
  • He does not vote in the first instance. But he can exercise a casting vote in the case of a tie.
  • He presides over a joint setting of the two Houses of Parliament.
  • He decides whether a bill is a money bill or not and his decision is final.
  • He decides the questions of disqualification of a member of the Lok Sabha, arising on the ground of defection under the provisions of the Tenth Schedule.
  • He appoints the chairman of all the parliamentary committees of the Lok Sabha and supervises their functioning. He himself is the chairman of the Business Advisory Committee, the Rules Committee and the General Purpose Committee.

Independence and Impartiality

  • He is provided with a security of tenure. He can be removed only by a resolution passed by the Lok Sabha by a special majority.
  • His salaries and allowances are fixed by Parliament. They are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India and thus are not subject to the annual vote of Parliament.
  • His work and conduct cannot be discussed and criticised in the Lok Sabha except on a substantive motion.
  • His powers of regulating procedure or conducting business or maintaining order in the House are not subject to the jurisdiction of any Court.
  • He cannot vote in the first instance. He can only exercise a casting vote in the event of a tie.
  • He is placed at seventh rank, along with the Chief Justice of India and has a higher rank than all cabinet ministers, except the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister.

Deputy Speaker

  • The Deputy Speaker who presides over the House in the absence of the Speaker is elected in the same manner in which the Speaker is elected by the House. He can be removed from office also in the same manner. He is directly responsible to the House.
  • When he sits in the seat of the Speaker, he has all the powers of the Speaker and can perform all his functions. When he is appointed as a member of a Parliamentary Committee, he automatically becomes its Chairman. The Deputy Speaker, however, is otherwise like any ordinary member when the Speaker presides over the House. He may speak like any other member, maintain his party affiliation and vote on propositions before the House as any ordinary member.

Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha

  • Election and removal are same as those of Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
  • Deputy Chairman is not subordinate to the Chairman (Vice President) rather he is directly responsible to the Rajya Sabha.
  • Like the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman, while presiding over the House, cannot vote in the first instance; he can only exercise a casting vote in the case of a tie.

Leader of the House and Opposition

  • The ‘Leader of the House’ means the prime minister, if he is a member of the Lok Sabha, or a minister who is a member of the Lok Sabha and is nominated by the prime minister. There is also a ‘Leader of the House’ in the Rajya Sabha. He is a minister and a member of the Rajya Sabha and is nominated by the prime minister.
  • The leader of the largest Opposition party having not less than one-tenth seats of the total strength of the House is recognised as the leader of the Opposition in that House.His main functions are to provide a constructive criticism of the policies of the government.
  • The leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were accorded statutory recognition in 1977.
  • The offices of the leader of the House and the leader of the Opposition are not mentioned in the Constitution of India, they are mentioned in the Rules of the House and Parliamentary Statute respectively.

Whip

  • The office of ‘whip’, on the other hand, is mentioned neither in the Constitution of India nor in the Rules of the House nor in a Parliamentary Statute. It is based on the conventions of the parliamentary government.
  • Appointed by each political party,they serve as an assistant floor leader with the responsibility of ensuring the attendance of his party members in large numbers and securing their support in favour of or against a particular issue.
  • The members are supposed to follow the directives given by the whip. Otherwise, disciplinary action can be taken.

Session of Parliament

Summoning

  • Session of Parliament is the period spanning between the first sitting of a House and its prorogation (or dissolution in the case of the Lok Sabha).
  • President summons each House of Parliament to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its sitting in the next session.
  • Usually three sessions viz. Budget Session, Monsoon Session and Winter Session are held in a year.
  • A sitting of Parliament can be terminated by adjournment, adjournment sine die, prorogation or dissolution.

Adjournment

  • An adjournment suspends the work in a sitting for a specified time, which may be hours, days or weeks.Adjournment sine die means terminating a sitting of Parliament for an indefinite period.
  • An adjournment only terminates a sitting and not a session of the House.
  • The power of adjournment and adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer of the House.

Prorogation

  • Within the next few days of the Adjournment sine die, the President issues a notification for prorogation of the session. However, the President can also prorogue the House while in session.
  • The period between the prorogation of a House and its reassembly in a new session is called ‘recess’.

Dissolution

  • Dissolution ends the very life of the existing House and a new House (only Lok Sabha) is constituted after general elections are held.
  • The dissolution of the Lok Sabha may take place in either of two ways:
  • Automatic dissolution: On the expiry of its tenure – five years or the terms as extended during a national emergency.
  • Order of President: If President is authorized by Council of Ministers or if Council of Ministers loses confidence and no party is able to form the government, he can dissolve Lok Sabha, even before the end of the term.
  • Once the Lok Sabha is dissolved before the completion of its normal tenure, the dissolution is irrevocable.
  • When the Lok Sabha is dissolved, all business including bills, motions, resolutions, notices, petitions pending before it or its committees lapse.
  • The position with respect to lapsing of bills is as follows:
    • A bill pending in the Lok Sabha lapses (whether originating in the Lok Sabha or transmitted to it by the Rajya Sabha).
    • A bill passed by the Lok Sabha but pending in the Rajya Sabha lapses.
    • A bill not passed by the two Houses due to disagreement and if the president has notified the holding of a joint sitting before the dissolution of Lok Sabha, does not lapse.
    • A bill pending in the Rajya Sabha but not passed by the Lok Sabha does not lapse.
    • A bill passed by both Houses but pending assent of the president does not lapse.
    • A bill passed by both Houses but returned by the president for reconsideration of Houses does not lapse.

Devices

Question Hour

  • The first hour of every parliamentary sitting.
  • During this time, the members ask questions and the ministers usually give answers.
  • Three kinds of questions are there:
  • A starred question requiring an oral answer followed by supplementary questions.
  • An unstarred question requiring a written answer without supplementary questions.
  • A short notice question, asked by giving a notice of less than ten days. It is answered orally.

Zero Hour

This period follows the ‘Question Hour’ and it normally begins at noon. Usually, the members use this period to raise various issues for discussion.

Motions

No discussion on a matter of general public importance can take place except on a motion made with the consent of the presiding officer.

Closure Motion

It is a motion moved by a member to cut short the debate on a matter before the House. If the motion is approved by the House, debate is stopped forthwith and the matter is put to vote.

Privilege Motion

  • It is concerned with the breach of parliamentary privileges by a minister.
  • It is moved by a member when he feels that a minister has committed a breach of privilege of the House or one or more of its members by withholding facts of a case or by giving wrong or distorted facts.
  • Its purpose is to censure the concerned minister.

Adjournment Motion

  • It is introduced in the Parliament to draw attention of the House to a definite matter of urgent public importance, and needs the support of 50 members to be admitted.
  • As it interrupts the normal business of the House, it is regarded as an extraordinary device.
  • It involves an element of censure against the government and hence Rajya Sabha is not permitted to make use of this device.

No-Confidence Motion

  • Lok Sabha can remove the ministry from office by passing a no-confidence motion.
  • The motion needs the support of 50 members to be admitted

Cut Motion

  • A motion that seeks reduction in the amount of a demand presented by the govt. is known as a Cut Motion.
  • Such motions are admitted at the speakers’ discretion. It is a device through which members can draw the attention of the government to a specific grievance or problem.
  • There are three types of cut motions:
    • Policy Cut Motion - which is to express disapproval of the policy underlying a particular demand, says that ‘the amount of the demand be reduced to Re. 1".
    • Economy Cut Motion- Economy Cut refers to a cut motion which seeks to reduce the demand by a specific sum with a view to affecting the economy in the expenditure.
    • Token cut Motion- is a device to ventilate specific grievances within the sphere of the government’s responsibility. The grievance has to be specified. Usually, the motion is in the form, “The amount of the demand is reduced by Rs. 100”.

Calling Attention Motion

With prior permission of the speaker; a member may call the attention of a Minister to any matter of urgent public importance. The Minister may make a brief statement regarding the matter or ask for time to make a statement. However, unlike the zero hour, it is mentioned in the Rules of Procedure.

Privilege Motion

It is motion moved by a member if he feels that a minister has committed a breach of privilege of the House or of any one or more of its members by with-holding facts of a case or by giving a distorted version of acts. Its purpose is to censure the concerned minister.

Vote on account

As there is usually gap between the presentation of the budget and its approval, the vote on account enables the govt. to draw some amount from the consolidated fund of India to meet the expenses in the intervening period.

Guillotine

On the last of the allotted days at the appointed time, the speaker puts every question necessary to dispose all the outstanding matters in connection with the demands for grants. This is known as guillotine. The guillotine concludes the discussion and demands for grants.

Censure Motion

  • Censure Motion differs from a no-confidence motion in that the latter does not specify any ground on which it is based, while the former has to state the reason for which it is being moved.
  • A censure motion can be moved against the Council of Minister or an individual minister for failing to act or for some policy. Reason for the censure must be precisely enumerated.
  • The speaker decides whether or not the motion is in order and no leave of the House is required for moving it.
  • If the motion is passed in the Lok Sabha the Council of Minister is expected to resign.

Legislative Procedure in Parliament

  • The legislative procedure is identical in both the Houses of Parliament. Every bill has to pass through the same stages in each House. A bill is a proposal for legislation and it becomes an act or law when duly enacted.
  • The bills introduced in the Parliament can also be classified into four categories:
  • Ordinary Bills, which are concerned with any matter other than financial subjects and amendment to Constitution.
  • Money Bills (Art 110), which are concerned with the financial matters like taxation, public expenditure, etc.
  • Financial Bills (Art 117), which are also concerned with financial matters (but are different from money bills).
  • Constitution amendment bills, which are concerned with the amendment of the provisions of the Constitution.

Ordinary Bill

  • Such a Bill can originate in either House of Parliamentand can be introduced either by a minister or by any other member (Private Member’s Bill). When Passed by both the houses and signed by the President, it becomes an Act.
  • The prescribed period of notice is one month for a private member’s Bill. For its introduction by ministers, notice is not required.
  • Ordinary Bill passes through three stages in the originating House:
  • First reading: The introduction of the bill and its publication in the Gazette constitute the first reading of the bill.
  • Second reading: Detailed scrutiny that is, general discussion, examination by select committee and consideration clause by clause.
  • Third reading: Acceptance or rejection of the bill.

Bill in the Second House

  • The second House may adopt any of the following courses:
  • It may pass the Bill without amendment
  • It may pass the Bill with amendment
  • If the originating House accepts the Bill as amended by the second House, it is presented to the President for assent.
  • If the originating House does not concur in the amendment and the disagreement is final, the President may summon a joint sitting to resolve the deadlock.

Joint Sitting

This session is presided over by the Speaker of Lok Sabha. Due to its numerical majority, the Lok Sabha has an upper hand during joint session.

Money Bill.

Article 110 states that a Bill is deemed to be a money bill if it contains provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters:

  • The imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax.
  • The regulation of the borrowing of money or the giving of any guarantee by the Government of India, or the amendment of the law with respect to any financial obligations.
  • The custody of the Consolidated Fund or the Contingency Fund of India, the payment of money into or the withdrawal of money from any such fund.
  • The appropriation of money out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • The declaring of any expenditure to be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or the increasing of the amount of any such expenditure.

The receipt of money on account of the Consolidated Fund of India or the Public Accounts of India or the custody or issue of such money or the audit of the accounts of the Union or of a State.

Procedure in the passage

  • A Money Bill can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha (and not in Rajya Sabha).
  • A Money Bill can be introduced only on the prior recommendation of the President. (Speaker only decides whether it’s a Money Bill or not.)
  • A Money Bill after being passed by the Lok Sabha is sent to the Rajya Sabha for recommendations.
  • The Rajya Sabha must return the Bill within a period of 14 days (with or without recommendations) from the date of the receipt of the Bill. (Rajya Sabha cannot amend the Bill). It is the discretion of the Lok Sabha whether to accept or reject recommendations made by the Rajya Sabha.
  • If the Bill is not returned within 14 days it is deemed to have been passed by both Houses.

The President may either give assent or withhold assent. As the Money Bill is introduced on the prior recommendations of the President it is improbable that he will refuse to give his assent.

There is no provision for a joint sitting in the case of Money Bills. The Lok Sabha decision is the final say.

Financial Bills

Under Art. 117, a Financial Bill is defined as a Bill containing provisions of general legislation along with one or more matters mentioned in Art.110.

Under Article 117, the Financial Bills which do not receive the Speaker’s certificate, to the effect that they are money bills are of 2 kinds:

  • A bill which contains any of the matters specified in Art 110 but does not consist solely of those matters, for example, a bill which contains a taxation clause, but does not deal solely with taxation.
  • Any ordinary bill which contains provisions involving expenditure from the consolidated fund.

GK through MAP (Snippets)

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Day 3 Polity 3

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