Parliament Notes


The constitution of India provides for the parliamentary form of government. The Parliament is the legislative organ of the union government. Articles 79 to 122 in part V of the constitution of India deals with the provisions of parliament.

Composition of the parliament

The parliament consists of:

  • Lok Sabha (Lower House)
  • Rajya Sabha (Upper House)
  • The President

Although President is not a member of either house, yet he is considered a part of

parliament because:

  • President’s assent is necessary for a law
  • Summons and prorogues both the houses and dissolves the Lok Sabha
  • Issues ordinance

Rajya Sabha


250 members; 238 are representatives of states and UTs, 12 are nominated members by the President


Members of RS elected by state legislative assemblies by the process of election held in accordance with proportional representation by means of single transferable vote


Elected by electoral college formed for this purpose and held in accordance with proportional representation by means of single transferable vote (only Delhi, Puducherry and J&K have RS members)

Nominated members

Nominated by President from fields of art, science, literature, and social service.


Ongoing house with 6 year terms (As per Representation of People’s act 1951) for all members, and 1/3rd members retire every 2 years; Rajya Sabha is a continuing chamber. In the first batch, it was decided by lottery as to who should retire.


  • Citizen of India
  • Other qualifications as prescribed by the Parliament
  • Equal to or more than 30 years in age


Holds office of profit under the Union or State government except those offices exempted by the Parliament

As per the RPA (1951)

  1. Must not be found guilty of certain election offenses and corrupt practices in the elections
  2. Must not be convicted of any offense resulting in imprisonment of more than 2 years. Preventive detention not counted.
  3. Must not have failed to lodge accounts of election expenses within time
  4. No interest in government contracts, works etc.
  5. Not a director or shareholder in government organization where govt. has more than 25% shareholding.
  6. Must not be dismissed from government service for corruption or disloyalty to the state
  7. Not convicted of bribery or inciting violence among different groups
  8. Not convicted of preaching social crimes like untouchability, dowry, sati

Note – On the question of disqualification, President’s decision is final. However, he should obtain the opinion of election commission.

Lok Sabha


550 members; 530 are from states, 20 are from UTs, directly elected by the people. Currently: 543 members, 530 from states and 13 from UTs.


  • 5 years from date of its first meeting when a new government is elected.
  • President is authorized to dissolve the LS at any time even before the completion of 5 years and it cannot be challenged in court of law
  • Term of LS can be extended to a maximum of 1 year at a time during proclamation of national emergency for any length of time (one year each)
  • Extension of LS doesn’t happen six months after the emergency has ceased to operate.


  • Citizen of India
  • Other qualifications as prescribed by the Parliament
  • Equal to or more than 25 years in age
  • Must be a member of SC/ST in any state or UT, if he wants to contest a seat reserved for him.


According to article 102, a person is disqualified if he –

  1. Holds office of profit under the Union or State government except those offices exempted by the Parliament.
  2. Is of unsound mind
  3. Is declared unsolvent
  4. Not a citizen of India or acquired citizenship of foreign state
  5. Is disqualified under any law made by the parliament

A person shall be disqualified from the either house if he is so disqualified under tenth schedule (Anti-defection law)

As per the RPA (1951)

  1. Must not be found guilty of certain election offenses and corrupt practices in the elections
  2. Must not be convicted of any offense resulting in imprisonment of >2 years. Preventive detention not counted
  3. Must not have failed to lodge accounts of election expenses within time
  4. No interest in government contracts, works etc.
  5. Not a director or shareholder in government organization where govt. is more than 25% shareholder
  6. Must not be dismissed from government service for corruption or disloyalty to the state
  7. Not convicted of bribery or inciting violence among different groups
  8. Not convicted of preaching social crimes like untouchability, dowry, sati

Vacating of seats in Parliament

A member of parliament vacates his seat in the following conditions as per article 101 –

  • Cannot be member of both houses at the same time.
  1. Intimate in 10 days which house he wants to be a member of. If not then by default, RS seat becomes vacant.
  2. If a sitting member of one House is elected to the second House, his seat in the first house becomes vacated
  3. If elected to two seats in a House, he must exercise right to one seat otherwise both are vacated
  4. Cannot be a member of both the Parliament and State Legislature at the same time. If doesn’t resign from one within 14 days his seat in Parliament is vacated
  • Seat of a member from a house is declared vacant if he is absent for 60 days without permission.
  • If the election is declared void.
  • Resignation to Chairperson of Rajya Sabha or Speaker of Lok Sabha
  • Disqualification

Presiding officers in the houses

Speaker of the Lok Sabha

  • First speaker of Lok Sabha – G.V. Mavlankar
  • Derives power from the Constitution of India, Rules and Procedures of the LS and Parliamentary conventions.
  • Presides over joint sitting of both the Houses
  • Cannot vote in first instance but can vote in case of tie
  • Decides whether a bill is Money Bill or not
  • Decides on disqualification of a member with reference to the anti-defection law. SC still has jurisdiction over this.
  • Appoints chairman of all the Parliamentary committees in the LS. He is the Chairman of the Business Advisory Committee, the Rules Committee and General- Purpose Committee
  • Ex-officio chairperson of Indian Parliamentary group, which is a link between Parliament of India and various parliaments of the world.

Election: Elected from amongst the members in the House. Date of election is fixed by the president. There is no separate oath or affirmation subscribed by the speaker.


  • Salary charged on CFI
  • His work and conduct cannot be discussed and criticized in Lok Sabha except on a substantive motion.
  • Placed at 7th rank, along with CJI in the order of precedence.


  • Can only be removed after a resolution is passed in the Parliament for this purpose
  • Resolution must first be raised by a member with support of at least 50 members and he must be given a 14 days’ notice first
  • After a resolution is brought in the House, it should be passed with an absolute majority of Lok Sabha and not by an ordinary majority
  • While such resolution is on, he cannot preside on the LS though he may be present there.
  • If he loses membership of parliament, he ceases to be speaker
  • Removal by resignation to deputy speaker

Note – Whenever the Lok Sabha is dissolved, the speaker does not vacate his office and continues till the newly elected Lok Sabha meets.

Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha

  • First deputy speaker of Lok Sabha – Ananthasayanam Ayyangar
  • Elected from amongst the members. Date of election is fixed by the speaker.
  • Deputy speaker is not a subordinated office to the speaker. He is directly responsible to the house.
  • He performs all the duties performed by the speaker in his absence or vacancy in the office of speaker
  • There is no separate oath or affirmation subscribed by the speaker.

Panel of Chairperson of Lok Sabha

  • From amongst the members of Lok Sabha, the speaker nominates not more than 10 members.
  • Any of them can preside over the house, in the absence of speaker and deputy speaker.

Note – A member of the panel of chairperson cannot preside over the house, when the office of speaker or deputy speaker is vacant.

Speaker Pro Tem

  • Speaker of the last Lok Sabha immediately vacates his seat when a new Lok Sabha’s first meeting is held
  • President appoints a Speaker Pro Tem to take care of proceedings till the time a speaker is elected.

Chairman of Rajya Sabha

  • Vice President of India is the ex-officio chairman of the RS.
  • When the vice-president acts as president, he does not discharge duties as chairperson of Rajya Sabha.
  • Can only be removed from here if he is removed from the office of the VP
  • Same powers as the speaker. However, he DOES NOT decide whether a bill is Money Bill or not and DOES NOT chair the joint sitting of the two Houses.
  • Chairman is not a member of the RS but can vote in case of a tie (cannot vote in first instance)
  • Salary charged on CFI.

Sessions of the Parliament

  • Maximum gap cannot be more than 6 months between sessions of a House
  • Budget Session (Feb - May), Monsoon Session (July - Sept), Winter Session (Nov - Dec)
  • A “session” is time between House’s first seating and its prorogation
  • Adjournment - temporary, between sittings etc.
  • Adjourn Sine Die - temporary but with no further time or date of meeting; Indefinite.
  • Prorogation - terminates the sitting and also the session of the House; done by president only
  • Dissolution - done by President only, ends the very life of that existing Lok Sabha

Lapse in Bills on Dissolution of Lok Sabha

A bill Lapses if:

  • Pending just in LS (whether originating in LS or RS)
  • Pending in RS lapses (when passed by LS)

However, the bill will not Lapse if:

  • If president has notified joint sitting before dissolution of LS.
  • Pending in RS but not passed in LS does not lapse (this means that the bill originated in RS itself)
  • Bill awaiting assent of the President does not lapse
  • A bill returned by the President for reconsideration of both Houses does not lapse

Quorum in Parliament

The minimum number of members required to be present at a sitting of the House or a Committee for valid transaction of its business, which is one-tenth of the total number of members of the House, as provided under article 100(3) of the Constitution.

Ministers and Attorney General

  • A minister can participate in proceedings of any house (in RS even if he is not a member of the RS), speak and also participate in any committee meetings
  • Attorney general can participate in processing of both the Houses, speak and also participate in any committee meetings. He cannot vote.

Territorial constituencies and delimitation

  • 42nd amendment- froze allocation of seats of different states in LS and division of each state into territorial constituencies till 2000 at 1971 level.
  • 84th amendment- extended the ban till 2026.
  • 84th amendment and 87th amendment- Allowed readjustment of territorial constituencies in states based on 2001 census. Also refixed reserved seats of SCs and STs based on 2001 census.

Division of a day in Lok Sabha

  • 1st hour of every sitting is a question hour
  • Starred Questions - Requires an oral answer and hence supplementary questions can follow
  • Unstarred Questions - Requires a written answer and hence supplementary answers cannot follow
  • Short Notice Questions - Questions asked by giving a notice of less than10 days and answered orally.
  • Zero Hour: o Informal device, not mentioned in Rules of Procedure o Raise matters without prior notice o Starts immediately after the question Hour and lasts until the agenda of the day is taken up


Motions are passed to start discussions in the Parliament on various issues of public importance. House expresses its decisions or opinions by adopting or rejecting the motions passed by either ministers or its private members.

Substantive Motion

Dealing with very important matter like impeachment of the President or removal of the Chief Election Commissioner.

Substitute Motion

Moved in substitution of the original motion and proposes an alternative to it. If adopted, it replaces the original motion

Subsidiary Motion

Motion that has no meaning in itself and is made in reference to another original motion

Ancillary Motion 

Used as a regular way of proceeding with various kinds of business

Superseding Motion 

Seeks to supersede an issue and moved in course of debate on another issue Amendment - Seeks to modify the original motion.

Closure Motion 

Introduced to cut short the discussion on vote on the motion. Types:

  1. Simple Closure
  2. Closure by Compartments
  3. Kangaroo Closure
  4. Guillotine Closure

Privilege Motion 

Concerned with the breach of parliamentary privileges by a minister by withholding facts of a case or by giving wrong or distorted facts.

Calling Attention Motion 

Introduced by a member to call attention of a minister to a matter of urgent public importance and to seek an authoritative statement from him on that matter.

Adjournment Motion

  1. Draws attention of the House to a definite matter of urgent public importance and needs support of 50 members to be admitted
  2. Extraordinary device
  3. Involved element of censure against the government and hence the RS is not permitted to make use of this device
  4. Discussion >2.5 hours
  5. Matter should be factual and urgent public importance
  6. Only one matter
  7. Not framed in general terms
  8. Not to raise question of a privilege
  9. Not to revive old discussions
  10. Not to deal with matter under adjudication by courts
  11. Cannot raise a matter that can be raised in distinct motion

No-confidence Motion

  1. Moved against the entire council of ministers
  2. To ascertain the confidence of LS in the Council of Ministers

Censure Motion

  1. Can be moved against a single member or council of ministers
  2. Moved to censure council of ministers for specific policies and actions

Motion of Thanks 

Speech of President in the Parliament given on the Motion of Thanks

No-Day-Yet-Named Motion

A motion which is accepted by speaker but no date decided for discussion


All resolutions are substantive motions, all are put to vote

  1. Private member’s Resolution
  2. Government Resolution
  3. Statutory Resolution

Procedure of passing bills in the parliament

Public Bills

  • A bill introduced by a minister on behalf of the government is a public bill
  • Reflects the policies of the Government
  • Greater chance of approval in the House
  • Rejection in the house leads to indication of non-confidence in the government
  • Requires 7 days’ notice for introduction
  • Drafted by the concerned department with consultation of the law department

Private Bills

  • Introduced by a member who may not be a minister
  • Reflects the stand of opposition or opinion and policy demand of a member
  • Lesser chance of approval
  • Rejection in House has no implication
  • Requires 1 month notice for introduction in the House
  • Drafting of this is responsibility of the member

Types of bills

Ordinary Bills

Can be introduced by any member of the House in any House of the Parliament.


I First Reading

  1. The member has to ask the House for leave to present the bill to the House
  2. When the House permits so, the member introduces the bill by just reading the title and objectives of the Bill
  3. No discussion takes place
  4. Bill then gets published in the Gazette of India. If the Bill gets published in the Gazette with permission of the Speaker, then no such reading needs to take place. Hence after this, the first stage i.e. First Reading of the bill is done

II Second Reading

  1. During this stage, the Bill is discussed and takes final shape
  2. General Discussion
  3. Principles of the bill are discussed but no detailed discussion takes place. At this stage, House can i) take the bill into consideration immediately or at some other date (ii) refer the bill to a select committee of the House (iii) may refer the bill to a joint committee of the two houses (iv) circulate the bill to elicit public opinion on it

III Committee Stage

  1. Usually, the bill is referred to a select committee or a joint committee
  2. Thoroughly examined
  3. Can amend the provision of the Bill without changing the basic nature and principle of the Bill

IV Consideration Stage

  1. Bill is now received from the Committee stage.
  2. Each clause is discussed and voted separately

V Third Reading

  1. Bill is voted upon. Debate is limited to acceptance or rejection of the Bill.
  2. After the Bill is voted, it goes to the Second House

Bill in the Second House

  • Here the Bill goes through the same process as the first House
  • If the Bill is accepted, it goes to President for assent; if the Bill is sent back with recommendations to the First House which are accepted by the First House it is considered to be passed and is sent to the President for assent.
  • However, if it is rejected, held for more than 6 months or sent back to the First House with recommendations which are not accepted by the First House, the President can summon the joint sitting of both the Houses for discussion and voting on the bill.

Assent of the President

  • He may give his assent
  • He may withhold his assent
  • He may return the bill to the House for reconsideration - must give his assent when it is returned to the President for assent again

Money Bills

  • Article 110 of the Constitution deals with the definition of Money Bills
  • Money Bill is a type of Financial Bill as defined by the constitution

Provisions on what is a money bill

  • A bill Dealing with taxation by the Centre (imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation) and NOT those taxes by local bodies for local purposes
  • A bill related to Borrowing money by the Central government
  • Custody of the CFI or the Contingency fund of India. Payment to or out of these funds comes under money bill
  • Appropriation of money out of the CFI
  • Declaration of any charges or increasing amounts charged from CFI
  • Audit of the Union accounts
  • Receipt of money by CFI or public accounts of India

The decision of the Speaker of Lok Sabha is final on whether a bill is Money bill or not. Not justiciable, final decision.

Money Bill is introduced in the LS by a minister - considered a Government Bill.

It is passed to the RS with an endorsement of the Speaker of the LS that it is a money bill.

RS has limited powers with respect to money bill. It must pass or return the bill to the LS within 14 days. If it gives any recommendations, they may or may not be accepted by the LS. The bill is considered to have passed if the RS does not return it within 14 days. The LS can or cannot accept RS recommendations and then the Bill is deemed to have passed

The President can only give his assent or withhold his assent to a Money Bill. He cannot return it to the House. Generally, a money bill passes because it is presented in the LS after the permission from the President.

Financial Bills

Financial Bills deal with revenue and expenditure, i.e. fiscal matters of the government.

Technically, Constitution defines the following as financial bills:

  • Money Bills (Article 110)
  • Financial bills (I) - Article 117 (1) - contains all matters of Article 110 and also matters of other general legislation
  • Financial bills (II) - Article 117 (3)

Financial bills (I)- Article 117 (1)

  • Contains all matters of Article 110 and also matters of other general legislation, i.e. any bill containing a clause for borrowing but doesn’t specifically deal with borrowing is considered a Financial Bill (I).
  • A Financial Bill (I) can be only introduced in LS after the recommendation of the President just like the Money bill, however in all other ways it is treated as an ordinary bill.
  • This means that RS can return the bill to the LS with recommendations which may result in a deadlock if the LS doesn’t accept the recommendations, unlike in the money bill. Once the President receives the Bill, he can also return the Bill to the LS with his recommendations.

Financial bills (II) - Article 117 (3)

  • Contains provisions involving expenditure from the CFI, but does not include any of the matters mentioned in Article 110
  • Treated as an ordinary bill except that it can be passed in either House only on recommendation of consideration by the President. It can be introduced without president’s recommendation in either house.

Joint Sitting of Houses

  • Cannot be called for money bills or constitutional amendment bills, only to ordinary or financial bills (I) and (II)
  • The Speaker of LS presides this meeting, if she is not available, the Deputy Speaker does, if she is not available then the Vice Chairman of the RS and following that any member selected by the Houses.
  • Chairman of the RS does not preside this sitting as he is not a member of the Houses

Budget in the Parliament

Process of budget

  • Presentation of budget
  • Vote on account
  • Discussion in 2 stages
  • Referring to standing committees for studying the budget
  • Appropriation bill
  • Finance bill

Motions to reduce demand for Grants

  • Policy Cut Motion- Represents disapproval of the policy and demand cutting of the demand to Re. 1. Members can also advocate alternative policy
  • Economy Cut Motion- Proposes that demand may be cut to a specified amount on basis of its economy/need
  • Token Cut Motion- Ventilates a specific grievance that is within the sphere of responsibility of the GOI.

Guillotine closureOn the last day of the voting on demands, the Speaker puts all the remaining demands to vote and disposes them regardless of discussions. This is known as guillotine.

Presentation of Budget

The budget is presented in the parliament on a specific date. The Budget speech of the Finance Minister is usually in two parts. Part A deals with general economic survey of the country while Part B relates to taxation proposals. The General Budget is presented in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Finance. He makes a speech introducing the Budget and it is only in the concluding part of his speech that the proposals for fresh taxation or for variations in the existing taxes are disclosed by him. The ‘Annual Financial Statement’ is laid on the Table of Rajya Sabha at the conclusion of the speech of the Finance Minister in Lok Sabha.

Vote on Account

The discussion on the Budget begins a few days after its presentation. Since Parliament is not able to vote the entire budget before the commencement of the new financial year, the necessity to keep enough finance at the disposal of Government in order to allow it to run the administration of the country remains. A special provision is, therefore, made for "Vote on Account" by which Government obtains the Vote of Parliament for a sum sufficient to incur expenditure on various items for a part of the year. Normally, the Vote on Account is taken for two months only. But during election year or when it is anticipated that the main Demands and Appropriation Bill will take longer time than two months, the Vote on Account may be for a period exceeding two months.

Passing of Appropriation Bill

Appropriation Bill is introduced to provide for appropriation of funds from CFI for Grants and Expenditure charged on the CFI-No amendments allowed

Passing of Finance Bill

Legalizes the income side of the budget and completes the process of enactment of the Budget.

Funds of India

Consolidated Fund of India

  • All revenue receipts, proceeds from repayment of loans to the government and proceeds from issue of government bonds etc. go into the CFI
  • All expenditures legally authorized on the behalf of the GOI are made from the CFI
  • Money can be appropriated out of the CFI only through parliamentary law and procedures (appropriation bill)

Public Accounts of India

  • All public money that doesn’t go to the CFI comes to the PAI. These are Provident funds, judicial deposits, departmental deposits, savings bank deposits, remittances and so on.
  • Controlled by the Executive of India

Contingency Fund of India

Contingency fund is maintained under the president. The President can allow for withdrawal under emergency or unforeseen circumstances.