Workings of The Parliament

The Workings of the Parliament: For a seamless fusion of the legislative and executive branches of government, our Constitution selected the parliamentary form of government. The Indian government’s top legislative body is the Parliament. Making laws after lengthy discussions and debates on proposals introduced in either chamber of Parliament is one of the main duties of Parliament.

The whole procedure followed for the same is called the “working of the Parliament.”

Sessions Of Parliament

The constitution only states that there should not be a gap of more than 6 months within two consecutive sittings of the Parliament.

However, as per Parliamentary practice, there are three sessions of Parliament in a year.

  • Budget Session (February-May): This is the longest and most important session
  • Monsoon Session (July-August)
  • Winter Session (November-December). It is the shortest session.

End Of Session

Prorogation – It is the end of a particular session of the Parliament. It is done by the President.
Adjournment – This concludes merely a sitting, not a session, as it is a brief intermission within a legislative session. The house’s presiding officer performs it. Its duration can range from a few seconds to several days all at once.
Adjournment (Sine Die-Indefinite Period) – It means adjournment for an indefinite period i.e., without fixing any time or date, done by the presiding officer.
Dissolution – It is the end of the house. Only Lok Sabha can be dissolved. It is done by the President, After, dissolution there are fresh elections to the Lok Sabha.

Privileges And Prerogatives Of The Parliament

Members of the parliament have access to privileges and prerogatives that are not available to other citizens. so that the parliamentarians can effectively and bravely carry out their duties.
There are two ways to enjoy these rights and privileges: individually and collectively.

  1. Individually – There are 3 types of freedom an MP enjoy individually
    • Freedom of Speech – This is much wider than available to other citizens. Whatever is said by MP within House and with the permission of the House, outside the house he can’t be challenged in any court of law. However, this freedom is not absolute and has two limitations.
      • It must be in conformity with the rules of Parliament.
      • An MP can’t speak against the conduct of the Judge of the Supreme Court and High Court unless there is a removal procedure of that Judge in Parliament is considered.
  2. Freedom from Arrest
    • A member of Parliament can’t be arrested during the session of Parliament and 40 days before the summoning of the House and 40 days after the prorogation of the House. However, this immunity is available only in civil cases and not in criminal cases, preventive detention, and contempt of court cases.
  3. Freedom from Jury services
    • A member of Parliament can’t be compelled to give witness in any court, in any case on which he is a witness when parliament is in session. This is because Parliamentary proceedings are considered above all proceedings.
  4. Collectively
    • Freedom to publish or not to publish any parliamentary proceedings including the right to punish individuals for publishing such reports.
    • Right to exclude outsiders from the house.
    • Right to regulate the internal affairs of the house.
    • Right to decide about parliamentary business.
    • Right to punish for contempt of the house.
    • Right to punish members and outsiders for breach of its privileges.

Parliamentary Control Over Executives

Following are the channels of parliamentary control over executives.

  1. The executive i.e., the Council of Ministers holds office only as long as it enjoys the confidence of the Lok Sabha. If a no-confidence motion is passed the Council of Ministers is bound to resign.
  2. In the case of the head of the executive, the President, the Parliament is given the power to the impeachment of President if he violates the Constitution.
  3. If a bill moved by a Council of Ministers is defeated in the Parliament, it is considered to be of majority in the house and the Council of Ministers is bound to resign.
  4. If a cut motion moved on a budgetary proposal successfully, the Council of Ministers should resign.
  5. The control of parliament is also exercised through motions such as
    • Adjournment motion
    • Call-attention motion
    • Censure motion and also by asking questions addressing the ministers.
Working Process of Parliament

Workings Of The Parliament: Types Of Bills And Their Passage

The most important function of Parliament is to legislate i.e., to make laws.
The legislative procedure is initiated in the form of a bill. In fact, a bill is proposed legislation and becomes a law when it is passed by the parliament and assented to by the President.
The Bills are classified as:

  • Ordinary Bill (Article 107 and Article 108)
  • Money Bill (Article 110)
  • Financial Bill (Article 117)
  • Constitutional Amendment Bill (Article 368)

The Bills are broad of two types:

  • Government Bills/Official Bills: The Money Bills, Financial Bills, and Ordinary Bills under Article 3 are essentially Government Bills.
  • Private Member Bills: Any bill other than the Money bill, Finance bill, and ordinary Bill under Article 3 Government or Private member Bills.
  • A government Bill is introduced in the house by a minister, whereas a private member bill is introduced by any member of Parliament, other than a Minister.

Ordinary Bills (Article 107 and Article 108)

All the Bills other than Money, Financial, and Constitutional Amendment Bills are ordinary bills. An ordinary bill can be introduced in either house of Parliament. President’s prior recommendation is not necessary to introduce it (except Article 3). To get the ordinary bill passed only a simple majority is required in both houses. In each house, the bill has to go through 3 stages called readings.

The stages of reading are as follows:

  • 1st Reading (Introduction Stage) – It is the introduction stage in which the bill is introduced by reading it, and a copy (published in govt. Gazette) is distributed and no discussion takes place.
  • 2nd Reading (Consideration Stage) – This is the consideration stage in which the bill is discussed clause by clause, and amendments to the bill are proposed. All additions and detentions are made.
  • 3rd Reading (Final Stage) – During this stage a brief general discussion on the final draft of the bill takes place and the bill is finally placed for voting.

Once the reading is completed, the procedure for the passage is followed:

  • When the bill is passed in one house it is transferred to another house, where a similar procedure is followed.
  • If the bill is passed by both houses, it is sent to the President for his assent.
  • President may give his assent or withhold his assent or may return that bill for reconsideration of the Parliament once.
  • After such reconsideration by both houses bill is again sent to the President, who must give his assent to the bill.
  • If the bill is passed by one house and rejected by another house or another house takes no action for six months or another house makes some amendment to the bill and sends the bill back to the originating house which doesn’t agree with those amendments, then there is deadlock over the bill.
  • The President under Article 108, can call for a Joint Sitting of the Parliament to resolve such deadlock. In a joint sitting, only a simple majority is required to pass the bill.

Money Bill

Money Bill is defined in Article 110 of the Constitution (from a to g)
Any bill that exclusively contains matters given in Article 110 such as:

  • Imposition, Abolition, Alteration, or regulation of any tax.
  • Regulation of borrowing of money and giving guarantee by the Government of India.
  • Custody of consolidated or contingency funds of India, payment made into it, and withdrawal of money from it.
  • Declaring any expenditure as charged on the consolidated fund of India etc. Is a Money Bill.

Other important points

Whether a bill is a money bill or not is certified by the speaker, his decision is final and binding.
Money Bills can only originate in the Lok Sabha after the prior recommendation of the President.

Role of Rajya Sabha

After being passed by Lok Sabha, the money bill is transmitted to Rajya Sabha which has four options:

  1. Pass the bill in its original form
  2. Reject the bill
  3. Take no action for 14 days
  4. Send the bill back to Lok Sabha with suggestive amendments.

There is no provision for a joint sitting of Parliament to pass a money bill. President has no right to withhold his assent in a money bill even President can’t send it back to the Parliament for reconsideration. Remember: Budget is a kind of Money Bill.

Financial Bill

Under Article 117, any bill dealing with revenue or expenditure but not certified as a money bill by the speaker is called a Financial Bill. Financial Bills are of two classes:

  1. A bill containing any of the matters specified in Article 110 but not exclusively dealing with those matters is called a Financial Bill of 1st Class.
  2. Example – A Bill containing a taxation clause but not exclusively dealing with taxation.
  3. An ordinary bill containing provisions including expenditure from the consolidated fund of India is called a Financial Bill of 2nd Class.

A Financial Bill is as good as an ordinary bill except for two things:

  1. Financial Bill can’t be introduced without the president’s approval
  2. It can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha.

Constitutional Amendment Bill

  • Article 368 empowers the Parliament to amend the Constitution.
  • A bill for this can be introduced in either house of the Parliament and there is no need for President’s prior recommendation.
  • A Constitutional Amendment Bill can be Government Bill/Private Member Bill.
  • It is possible for Parliament to change the Constitution. However, as stated by the Supreme Court in the Keshvananda Bharati Case v/s State of Kerala Case, 1973, these revisions are subject to the fundamental framework of the Constitution.
  • Each chamber separately must pass the Constitutional Amendment Bill with the special majority required by Article 368.
  • The passage of such a bill in the Joint Session of Parliament is not possible. The president must offer his consent if the law is approved by both chambers and forwarded to him for signature.

Special Majority In Parliament

  • Special Majority means: A majority of total members of that house and 2/3rd of members present and voting.
  • Some of the provisions of the constitution such as the power of the President, his election, etc. can only be amended by a special majority in the Parliament as well as the support of not less than half of the total state legislatures.

Joint Sitting Of The Parliament

According to Article 108, there are two occasions on which the joint sitting of the Parliament is concerned:

  1. For a special address by the President.
    • At the commencement of the first session after each general election to Lok Sabha and at the commencement of the first session of each year (normally the Budget Session), the President convinces the Joint Sitting of the Parliament and informs the Parliament of the causes of the summons.
  2. For resolving any deadlock over the passage of a bill.
    • There are three circumstances that lead to a deadlock between the two houses of Parliament.
    • Other than Money Bill or Constitutional Amendment Bill, if a bill is passed by one house and transmitted to another house and –
      • The bill is rejected by another house,
      • For 6 months, the bill is not considered or passed by another house,
      • Other house makes some Amendment to the bill and sends it back to the originating house, which is not accepted by originating house.

The President convenes a joint session of the Parliament in the three aforementioned circumstances. Any member of Parliament may preside by agreement of both houses during this joint session in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, or the Speaker. Due to Lok Sabha’s superior numerical size in the Joint Sitting, only a simple majority is needed to pass the bill during a joint session. After a law is approved by the Joint Sitting, the President cannot refuse to sign it.

Annual Financial Statement (ARTICLE 112)

President by such report in front of both houses of Parliament; Every Financial year;

  • Statement in form of estimated receipts and Expenditures.
  • Expenditure (Charged and made from CFI) Separately.
  • Expenditure Charged
  • Emoluments of the President and his office
  • Salaries and allowances – Chairman; D.C; Speaker and Deputy Speaker
  • Debt Charges of the Government
  • Salaries allowances and pensions – Judges of Supreme Court.
  • Pensions in case of Judges of High Court.
  • Salary allowances and pension of CAG.
  • Sums required to satisfy a Judgment; Decree of any award of any Court
  • Any other Expenditure declared by a law of Parliament (or) Constitution.
  • The passing of the Finance Bill: Finance bill has to be passed within 75 days.


Article 266(1) provides for the Consolidated Fund of the union and states.
Article 266(2) Public Accounts of India and states.
No Money from the Consolidated Fund of India or the State shall be appropriated except in accordance with Law.


Parliament may by Law establish the Contingency Fund of India; Such sum as determined by law
Funds are taken out to meet unforeseen Expenditures.
Expenditure at the disposal of the President.
Money can be taken out pending Authorization of the Legislature.
Note: It also provides for the Contingency Fund of the state [Art .267(2) ]

Type Of Parliamentary Committees

Types of Parliamentary Committees
Types of Standings Committees


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