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Rajya Sabha
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HANDBOOK FOR MEMBERS OF RAJYA SABHA

Contents

21.Private Members' Bills

Private Members may also move a legislative proposal or Bill which he thinks fit to be there in the Statute Book. He may give notice of his Bill alongwith the text of the Bill to be drafted by him as the Secretariat may render only technical advice, if so desired, in drafting of a Bill by a Private Member. There are certain procedural requirements of all legislative proposals  whether Government or Private Members’ Bills. Since in respect of Private Members’ Bills Members may not have access to expert advice, and there are certain procedures regulating consideration of Private Members’ Bills, the main requirements are listed below:-

(i)  Contents of Bill:-

(a) The foremost requirement in  case of a Bill is that it should be within the legislative competence of Parliament.  In other words, the subject of the Bill should relate to the subjects included the Union or Concurrent List contained in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India.

 (b) Notices of Bills are required to be accompanied by copies of the text of the Bill  together with a Statement of Objects and Reasons, duly signed by the member giving notice.

(c) In addition to the Statement of Objects and Reasons, a Bill involving expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India must also be accompanied by a financial memorandum inviting particular attention to the clauses involving expenditure and also giving an estimate of recurring and non-recurring expenditure likely to be involved in case the Bill is passed into law.

(d) A Bill involving proposals for the delegation of legislative power to any executive authority should be accompanied by a memorandum explaining such proposals and drawing- attention to their scope and stating also whether they are of a normal or exceptional character.

(e) A Bill seeking to amend original sections of a principal Act should be accompanied, in the form of an Annexure by an extract of all those sections of the principal Act of which the amendment is sought.

(f) If the Bill is one which under the Constitution cannot be introduced (Articles 3 and 274 of the Constitution)without the previous sanction or recommendation of the President, the member-in-charge of the Bill should annex to the notice a copy of such sanction or recommendation as the notice is not valid until this requirement is complied with.

(g) A Bill which, if enacted, would involve expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, cannot be taken into consideration or referred to a Select/Joint Committee unless the member-in-charge obtains the requisite recommendation of the President for consideration of the Bill under article 117(3) of the Constitution. In case of such Bills members-in-charge should obtain the recommendation of the President before hand in order to enable them to proceed further with the Bill.  For this purpose a member sends his request to the Secretariat for obtaining recommendation of the President.  The request of the member is forwarded to the Ministry concerned.  Which then obtains the orders of the President and communicates the same to the Secretariat.  On receiving intimation regarding president’s order through the Ministry it is communicated to the member and published in the Bulletin by the Secretariat.

(ii)  Notice to introduce:- The period of notice of a motion for leave to introduce a Bill is one month, unless the Chairman allows the motion to be made at shorter notice.

(iii) Number of Bills permissible:-  A member can give a maximum of three notices for introduction of Private Members Bills during a Session.

 (iv) Listing for introduction:- A Private Member's Bill in respect of which notice of motion for leave to introduce has been given is entered in the List of Business for the day allotted for Private Members' Bills as the first item for the purpose of introduction.

(v) Draw of lot for consideration of Private Members’ Bills:- The relative precedence of the Private Members' Bills, which have already been introduced and are pending before the House is determined by draw of lot. In the draw of lot ten names of members are drawn and the priority obtained therein remains valid for the entire session.  The ten members selected by draw of lot are required to indicate as to which Bill, out of the Bills introduced by then and are pending in the Rajya Sabha may be included in the List of Business for consideration and passing during a session.  This option needs to be exercised only by  members whose more than one Bill are pending in the Rajya Sabha.

(vi) Listing of Bills for consideration:- Out of the ten names drawn in the draw of lot for a session, Bills of only five members (excluding part discussed Bill, if any) in order of their priority are included at a time in the List of Business for consideration on each day allotted for Private Members’ Bills. In case in a session there are two or more days for Private Members’ Bills, on the second or subsequent such day, Bills of 5 Members in order of draw of lot will be included in the List of Business whose Bills have not earlier been passed/withdrawn or negatived.

22.Amendments to clauses, etc. of  Government or Private Members’ Bills (Rules 95 – 103 of the Rules of Procedure)

(i) A Member Should  give notice of an amendment to a clause or schedule of a Bill at least one day before the day on which the Bill is to be considered.  The notice should be addressed to the Secretary-General, Rajya Sabha and delivered in the Notice Office.

(ii) An amendment which has merely the effect of a negative vote is not admissible. The amendment should specify the clause(s) and the changes proposed therein in specific terms.  All amendments are scrutinized by the Secretariat and only those amendments which comply with the requirements of the Constitution of India or the Rules of Procedure are admitted.

(iii) If a member gives notice of an amendment which under the Constitution cannot be moved without the previous sanction or recommendation of the President, he should annex to the notice such sanction or recommendation. The notice is otherwise not valid.  Generally amendments which need the previous sanction or recommendation relate to seeking to vary the income tax or excise duty i.e. either to revise or lower the rates prescribed in the financial Bill.

(iv) All amendments, notices of which have been admitted, are, as far as practicable arranged by the Secretariat in the list of amendments issued from time to time, in the order in which they may be called and  the list is circulated among the members.   In arranging amendments raising the same question at the same point of a clause, precedence is generally given to an amendment moved by the member-in-charge of the Bill. Subject to as aforesaid, amendments may be arranged in the order in which notices are received in the Notice Office.

(v) Amendments are considered in the order of the clauses of the Bill to which they respectively relate. The time for moving amendments is immediately after the clause to which they relate is taken up for consideration. When the Bill comes up for clause by clause consideration, the Chair will call out the clause no. and in case a Member’s notice for amendments has been admitted and is included in the list of amendments he will be asked to move his amendments. He then rises in his seat and states ‘I move the amendment’.

(vi) An amendment once moved may be withdrawn on the request of the member moving it only with the leave of the House.  Generally when the amendment is to be put to vote the member wishing to withdraw indicates his desire to the chair.  The chair then puts the question to the House and if and House gives its  assent, the amendment is withdrawn.

(vii) Appropriation Bills are introduced in the Lok Sabha after the grants are made there. No amendments can be proposed in the Rajya Sabha to Appropriation Bills which will have the effect of varying the amount or altering the destination of any grant so made by the Lok Sabha.

23.Adjournment of debate on, and withdrawal of Bills (Rules 117 – 118 of the Rules of Procedure)

(i) A motion for adjournment of debate on a Bill may be moved at any stage of the Bill with the consent of the Chairman.

(ii) The member-in-charge of a Bill may at any stage of the Bill move for leave to withdraw the Bill. The Chair will put the question to the House that leave be granted to withdraw the Bill, and the House by voice vote may grant leave. On such leave being granted, no further motion is made with reference to the Bill. If a motion for leave to withdraw a Bill is opposed, the Chairman may in his discretion permit the member who moves and the member who opposes the motion to make brief explanatory statements and thereafter without further debate, put the question, to vote.

24.Bill originating In the Lok Sabha and transmitted to the Rajya Sabha (Rules 121 – 133 of the Rules of Procedure)

(i) When a Bill originating in the Lok Sabha is transmitted to the Rajya Sabha, it is, as soon as may be, laid on the Table. At any time after the Bill has been so laid on the Table, any Minister in the case of a Government Bill, or, in case of a Private Members’ Bill, a member (authorized by the Lok Sabha Member in charge of the Bill in that House) may give notice of his intention to move that the Bill be taken into consideration. (The same procedure is followed in respect of Private Members’ Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha and transmitted to Lok Sabha).

(ii) Unless the Chairman otherwise directs, the motion for consideration of the Bill is not included in the List of Business earlier than two days from the receipt of the notice. In respect of a Private Members’ Bill, the Bill is  listed on a day fixed for transaction of Private Members’ Legislative Business only if the notice has gained the requisite priority in the draw of lot.

(iii) When the Bill is taken up for consideration, the principles of the Bill and its general provisions may be discussed, but the details of the Bill are not discussed further than is necessary to explain its principles.

(iv) If the Bill has not already been referred to a Joint Committee of the Houses, any member can at this stage move a motion that it may be referred to a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha. For this purpose a notice is given to this effect mentioning the number and names of the Members proposed to be included in the Select Committee. If the motion is adopted, the Bill stands referred to a Select Committee and undergoes the same process in the Committee as any other Bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha and referred to a Select Committee.

(v) After the motion that the Bill be taken into consideration is carried, clause by clause consideration of the Bill is taken up and the provisions of the Rules of the Rajya Sabha regarding consideration of amendments to Bills and the subsequent procedure in regard to the passing of Bills apply.

(vi) If the Bill is passed without amendment, a message is sent to the Lok Sabha intimating that the Rajya Sabha has agreed to the Bill without any amendment.

(vii) If the Bill is passed with amendments, the Bill is returned with a message seeking the concurrence of the Lok Sabha to the amendments.

(viii) If the Lok Sabha disagrees with the amendments made by the Rajya Sabha or any of them, or agrees to any of the amendments made by the Rajya Sabha with further amendments or proposes further amendments in place of amendments made by the Rajya Sabha, the Bill as further amended on receipt by the Rajya Sabha, is laid on the Table.

(ix) After the amended Bill has been laid on the Table, any Minister in the case of a Government Bill, or, in case of a Private Members’ Bill, a member authorized by the Lok Sabha member-in-charge of the Bill, after giving two days notice, or with the consent of the Chairman without notice, may move that the amendments be taken into consideration.

(x) (a) If a motion that the amendments be taken into consideration is carried, the Chairman will put the amendments to the Rajya Sabha in such manner as he thinks most convenient for their consideration.  Generally, Lok Sabha may return Bills to the Rajya Sabha with two kinds of amendments which may be classified as, (i) the amendments which relate to the enacting formula and the short title of a Bill (such amendments are necessary in case a Bill pertains to the previous year(s) and has been passed by the Rajya Sabha during that/those years but passed by the Lok Sabha in the subsequence year and (ii) the amendments which relate to other clauses of Bill(s) (such amendments may be on one or more clauses schedule etc.). The Mizoram University Bill, 2000, the Indian Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2001 and the Judicial Administration Laws (Repeal) Bill, 2001 are few examples of the Bills which were returned by Lok Sabha with amendments falling in the first category while  the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Bill, 2000 was returned by the Lok Sabha with the amendments falling in the second category.

(b) Further amendments relevant to the subject matter of the amendments made by the Lok Sabha may be moved, but no further amendment is moved to the Bill, unless it is consequential upon, or an alternative to an amendment made by the Lok Sabha.

(xi) The Rajya Sabha may either agree to the Bill as originally passed in the Lok Sabha or as further amended by the Lok Sabha as the case may be or may return the Bill with a message that it insists on an amendment or amendments to which the Lok Sabha has disagreed.

(xii) If a Bill is returned with a message intimating that the Rajya Sabha insists on amendments to which the Lok Sabha is unable to agree, the two Houses are deemed to have finally disagreed as to the amendments.

(xiii) A Money Bill, after it has been passed by the Lok Sabha is transmitted to the Rajya Sabha for its recommendations. The Rajya Sabha is required to return the Bill to Lok Sabha with its recommendations, if any, within a period of fourteen days from the date of receipt of the Bill. The recommendations are taken into consideration by the Lok Sabha which may either accept or reject all or any of the recommendations made by the Rajya Sabha. In either case the Bill will stand passed in the form finally accepted by the Lok Sabha. If Rajya Sabha does not return the Bill within the prescribed period of fourteen days, the Bill is deemed to have been passed by the Houses at the expiry of the period in the form in which it was passed by Lok Sabha. (Article 109 of the Constitution)

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