Most of you must be aware of the fact that the bill needs to be passed through various stages before it becomes an Act of Parliament. However, before we understand the process of passing a bill in India, we need to first understand what a Bill is.
What is a Bill?
The simplest definition of a Bill is that it is a draft of a legislative procedure. It is usually a proposal for a new law or a change to the existing law. If the Bill proposed is passed by the Parliament and is asserted by the President of India it becomes a law. Bills in the Indian Parliament can be classified into four types. They are the following:
- Money Bills
- Financial Bills
- Constitution Amendment Bills
- Ordinary Bills
Three different stages of passing a Bill
First Stage or the Introduction Stage
The first step involves the introduction of the Bill in either house of the Parliament that is the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha. A Bill can either be introduced by a Minister or by a Private member. In case a bill is read by a Minister it is known as a Government Bill and in the latter case, it is called a Private Bill. However, in the first stage, only the principles and the provisions of the Bill are discussed.
Second Stage or the Discussion Stage
In the second stage, the considerations and the provisions of the Bills are discussed. This stage is further divided into three other stages.
The first stage involves discussing on the consideration of the Bill. In this stage, the bill might face three possible consequences. It may be straightaway taken into consideration, it may be referred to the Standing Committee or it may be circulated in public gazette to get the general opinion of the public.
The second stage involves discussion of all the consideration of the bill clause by clause as reported by the Committee. When all clause has been put to vote and is disposed of thereof the second stage of passing the Bill gets over.
In the third stage amendments or change can be brought about to the bill. However, amendments can only be made only if the bill is accepted by the majority of the members present.
The third stage or the voting stage
This stage does not involve discussing the details of the Bill. Rather, either House votes either in favor or against the Bill. If the number of votes both in favor and against are the same, the Speaker of the House gets the right to exercise his or voting right which is known as the Casting Vote.
Bills in the Other House
Other than a Money Bill all other Bills are passed to the other house of Parliament and it passes through all the stages. In case there is a deadlock between the two Houses, the President summons a joint session which is presided over by the speaker of Lok Sabha and the conflict is resolved by the rule of the simple majority.
President’s Approval of the Bill
When the Bill is passed by both the Houses it is sent to the President for approval. The President can assent, withhold assent or send the Bill back apart from a Money Bill as it is recommended by the President to the Houses. If the President gives his assent to the Bill it becomes an Act.
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