Indian Polity / Union Legislature
Our Constitution provides for 4 types of Bills in Indian Parliament. They are Money Bill, Financial Bill, Ordinary Bill and Constitution Amendment Bill. A
Bill is nothing but a drafted Legislative proposal. When the proposed Bill passes through both the Houses of Parliament and if the President gives his assent,
the Bill will become an Act. The procedure for how a bill is passed in Indian Parliament differs from one type of bill to the other.
Types of Bills in Indian Constitution
If the Bill contains some or all the provisions of Article 110, it is called Money Bill. A Money bill shall be introduced in Lok Sabha only
and that too with prior permission of the President of India. It should be ratified as a Money Bill by the speaker of the Lok Sabha. The President
cannot return the Money Bill as well as Constitution Amendment Bill for reconsideration of the Parliament, where as for other types of Bills in Indian
Parliament, there is an option of returning back to the House for its reconsideration. The provisions in Article 110 are -
- Imposition, abolition, alteration of taxes.
- Regulating the borrowings by Government of India.
- Custody of the funds in the Consolidated Fund of India and Contingency Fund of India.
- Appropriation of moneys from the Consolidated Fund of India.
- Expenditures charged on Consolidated Fund of India.
- Receiving money into the Consolidated Fund of India and Public Account of India.
Powers of Rajya Sabha over Money Bill -
- Rajya Sabha cannot vote or reject the Money Bill.
- Rajya Sabha cannot have the power to amend the Money Bill.
- Rajya Sabha can discuss on the Money Bill and can propose recommendations on Money Bill.
- All the things have to be done within 14 days. That is, it has to express its opinion after receiving the Bill. After 14 days are lapsed, the Bill
is deemed to be passed.
Article 117 talks about Financial Bill. Financial Bills, which are not ratified by the Speaker as a Money Bills, are of two types namely, Financial
Bill Type I and Financial Bill Type II.
- Financial Bill Type I - It is a Bill which deals with any of the provisions of Article 110 but in addition to that it will also have some
extra matter not related to those provisions. It shall be introduced only in Lok Sabha and that too with the recommendation of the President.
Rajya Sabha has the power to reject or amend such Bill but the Amendment cannot be made without the recommendation of the President. There can be
joint session of the Parliament if there is a stalemate between the two Houses of the Parliament.
- Financial Bill Type II - It is a Bill having provisions related to expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India and does not contain
any of the provisions of Article 110. It can be introduced in both the Houses of the Parliament. Recommendation of the President is not required
for introducing the Bill but it is required while passing the Bill in either House. Rajya Sabha has the power to reject or amend such Bill. There can be
joint sitting of the Parliament in case of deadlock.
Ordinary Bill can be introduced in both Houses of the Parliament. This Bill can be proposed or initiated by the Government or a private member, who is not
part of the Government. There will be 3 stages while passing an Ordinary Bill.
- Stage I - First stage of the Bill is called Introduction or First Reading. In the First Reading, the minister concerned announces or
pronounces the name and purpose of the Bill. While introducing the Bill, he has to take permission of presiding officer.
- Stage II - Second stage is known as Second Reading. It is the most important and significant stage of the Bill because in this stage, it
undergoes a thorough discussion. In this stage, the Bill may be referred to the Select Committee or a Joint Select Committee. In this stage, amendments
can be suggested to the Bill.
- Stage III - Third stage is called Third Reading. Third Reading is a procedural stage. No further discussion will be done on the Bill except
one discussion that is whether to put to vote or not. If the Bill is voted with a simple majority, the procedure in the initiating House is completed.
The Bill is the transmitted to the other House. In other House also, the bill undergoes through the same stages. Then the Bill is sent out for the assent of
the President. If the President gives the assent to the Bill, it becomes an Act.
Conflicts between two Houses -
Ordinary Bills can be approved by both the Houses either separately or jointly. In case of stalemate between the
two Houses, it can be resolved by resorting to the joint session of the Parliament. President of India summons the joint session under Article 108.
The instances in which he summons joint session are -
- One House rejects the bill outrightly or completely.
- The recommendations made by other House are being rejected by the initiating House.
- After receiving the Bill if 6 months have been elapsed and the House is not expressing its opinion, President of India convenes joint session.
Speaker of the Lower House presides over the joint session of the Parliament.
So far only 3 Bills have been approved by the joint session of the Parliament. They are the Dowry Prohibition Bill (1960), the Banking Service
Commission (Repeal) Bill ( 1977 ) and POTA Bill ( 2002 ) in place TADA. All the three Bills were initiated in the Lok Sabha and they all were rejected by the
Constitution Amendment Bill
Article 368 deals with Constitution Amendment Bill. The reference for Amendment procedure of Indian constitution is South African Constitution.
Article 368 talks about only two procedures to amend the Constitution. However in India, 3 procedures are followed. They are -
- Amendment with Simple majority.
- Amendment with Special majority ( 2/3rd members present and voting plus majority of total membership of each individual House of the Parliament ).
- Amendment with Special majority plus ratification with simple majority by more than half of the State Legislatures.
Details regarding Amendment to the Constitution are provided here.
When any of the above mentioned Bills is passed by both the Houses of Parliament, it will be placed before the President of India for his assent. The
President is bound to give his assent for the Constitution Amendment Bill. He cannot even withhold or return the Constitution Amendment Bill for reconsideration
of the Parliament. However, the President, for other types of Bills in Indian Parliament, can either return for reconsideration or give his assent or withhold
his assent without giving any opinion except the money bill, for which he can just give or withhold his assent.