Categories and Passage of the Bills - By Isha
All the bills, other than Financial Bills, Money Bills, and the constitutional amendment bills are Ordinary Bills. Such bills can be introduced in either House of the Parliament without the recommendation of the President, except those bills under Article 3.
These bills are passed by a simple majority by both the Houses. Both the houses enjoy equal jurisdiction over such bills and in case of deadlock due to any reason, the tie is resolved by a joint sitting. The President has the right to return such Bills for reconsideration to the Parliament once.
Each house has laid down a procedure for the passing of a bill. According to the procedure of the House, a bill has to pass through three stages commonly known as Readings.
First Reading : The bill is introduced in the house. At this stage, no discussion takes place.
Second Reading: this is the consideration stage when the bill is discussed clause by clause.
Third Reading: During this stage, a brief general discussion of the bill takes place and the bill is finally passed.
Money Bill is defined in Article 110 of the Constitution. As per the Article, and bill dealing with all or any of the matters enumerated from (a) to (g) of the same Article shall be a Money Bill. If there arises any question over the validity of the Money Bill, the decision of the speaker of the Lok Sabha is final. The speaker duly certifies the bill as Money Bill because this Bill passes through special procedures ( Article 109)
A money Bill can only originate in the Lok Sabha after the recommendations of the President.
After being passed by the Lok Sabha, the Money Bill passes on to the Rajya Sabha which has four options:
Pass the bill in the original form
Reject the bill
Take no action for 14 days
Send the bill with suggestive amendments to the Lok Sabha.
If the case is either (b) or (c), the bill shall be automatically deemed to have been passed by the Rajya Sabha. In case of (d), the Lok Sabha has sole authority to accept or reject one or all of the recommendations and in this case also the bill shall be deemed as passed with or without recommendations.
There is no provision for a joint sitting of the Parliament to pass a Money Bill.
After the Money Bill is passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, it is presented to the President who unlike in the case of other Bills, has no right to withhold it. (Article 111)
Any bill dealing with revenue or expenditure, but not certified as a money Bill by the speaker, it is a Financial Bill. These Financial Bills are of two classes:
A bill containing any of the matters specified in Article 110, but not exclusively dealing with those matters. This is called the Financial Bills of first class.
An ordinary bill contains provisions involving expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India. This is called the Financial Bill of Second Class.
As regards the procedure for its passage, a Financial Bill is as good as Ordinary Bill except that a Financial Bill cannot be introduced without the President’s recommendations, and it can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha. Thus a financial Bill is passed according to the ordinary procedure provided for passing of an ordinary bill.
Constitutional Amendments Bills
Article 368 deals with the power of the Parliament to amend the constitution, and the procedure thereof. A bill for this can be introduced in either House ( the Lok Sabha of the Rajya Sabha) of the Parliament and there is no need of the President’s recommendation for this.
Such a bill must be passed by each house separately with a special majority required under Article 368 i.e., not less than two-third of the members of the house present and voting.
This majority should be more than the absolute majority of the house. The joint sitting of parliament is not possible for passing such a bill ( Article 108). If the bill is passed by both the houses, it goes for the President’s assent. By the 24th Constitutional Amendment Act, it is obligatory for the President to give his assent to the bill amending the Constitution.
But the Amending power of the Parliament is subject to the ' Basic Structure of the Constitution'. Thus the amending power is limited. The Supreme Court can strike down any such amendment, if it is not in concurrence with the basic structure of the Constitution.