India is a democratic and a Federal country. Laws can be made separately at various levels, by the state government and union government. Which leads us to enquire if you know how does a Bill become law in India? No, idea? Let us tell you about it! But before that, what is a Bill?
A bill is a draft of any codified proposal that has to go through various stages before it is passed to become an Act of Parliament. Then the act is voted and approved to be implemented as a Law.
There are three stages for a bill to become a Law in India. The process is somewhat similar to state assemblies.
#1. First Reading
Introduction Stage: The member in charge of the bill seeks the permission to present the bill for the first reading. A brief speech is also given by the minister if the bill is a complex or important one. She/he introduces the bill with elaborating the key features of the bill. The provisions and major principles of the bill are discussed in the first stage.
#2. Second Reading
Discussion Stage: This stage is further divided into three levels for consideration of the better understanding of principles.
First level: Once a date for the further discussion is fixed, the principles are enlightened in that session. There open three options for the house; firstly it may be directly taken into consideration, secondly it may be referred to any of the standing committees or lastly, it may be circulated for getting options thereon for the purpose of eliciting.
Second level: This stage focuses on consideration of the bill clause-to-clause. Finally, a report on each section is made. All the clauses are put to vote and disposed of. This is where this stage ends.
Third level: Once the voting process is done, changes or amendments are made only at this stage. After the amendments are done and accepted by the majority by voting, they become a part of the bill.
#3. Third Reading
Voting Stage: The third stage is about voting. The members either support the bill without getting into details or reject it as a whole. After the amendments are done there will be no change in the bill. Therefore, they can either support or reject the bill at this stage. Once the bill is passed, it goes into Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. If by any chance the votes in the favor or against the bill are equal, then the presiding officer gets the chance to give the deciding vote. The presiding officer is the speaker of Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha whose vote is referred as Casting Vote Right.
When Bill Goes To The Other Houses
(Image Courtesy: Clear IAS)
The same pattern is followed when the bill (other than money bill) comes to the other houses. This is a crucial stage as if the bill which is passed by one house is amended by another; it goes back to the stage where it started. The originating house can either accept the amendments to pass the bill or can reject it. If they reject the amendments it shall be believed that both the houses disagreed. In this case, President keeps a deadlock session to peacefully finalize a common majority.
When a bill is passed it is sent for the president’s approval. He can approve or reject any bill other than money bill as President himself recommends the same. If the President provides his assent, the bill is published in The Gazette of India. That bill becomes an Act from the date of assent. If the President returns the Act, Parliament should again reconsider it.
(Image Courtesy: BBC)
The procedure is certainly complex but beneficial. In order to know further about it feel free to get in touch with us.
(Featured Image Courtesy: Ratan Times)