Legislature

Question 45
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The following are some proposals for making the Parliament more effective. State if you agree or disagree with each of them and give your reasons. Explain what would be the effect if these suggestions were accepted.

✓ Parliament should work for longer period.

✓ Attendance should be made compulsory for members of Parliament.

✓ Speakers should be empowered to penalise members for interrupting the proceedings of the House.

Solution

1. Parliament should work for longer period — For the realization of a true representative democracy. The parliament has to effectively control the executive and ensure a more responsive government. For this purpose, it is important that there should be an adequate time at the disposal of the House. Moreover, the Houses of the Parliament have been plagued by absence of quorum, boycott of sessions by the oppostion, thus wasting the time available to the Houses. Many important bills are held pending for longer periods. Most of the grants in the budget are guillotonized. Hence the Parliament should work for longer period to control the executive through debates, discussion and censures.

2. Attendance should be made compulsory for members of the Parliament — Now a days, it is found that our Parliamentarians are frequently absent from the processing of the Houses. Due to lack of quorum, the presiding officers have to suspend the business of the houses. Many bills are delayed for longer periods. This is a gross injustice to the people who have elected them and the regions whom they represent in view of all these, there is an urgent need in view of all these, there is an urgent need for making the attendence compulsory.

3. Speaker should be empowered to penalize members for interrupting the proceedings of the House — It is through debates that House of Parliament performs all its vital functions. These discussions should be meaningful and orderly so that the functions are carried out, smoothly, its dignity remains intact and the precious time of the House is not worked. The constitution of India itself, has made certain provisions to ensure the smooth conduct of the each of the house.

In the Lok Sabha, the speaker is the presiding officer who is the final authority in matters of regulating the business of the House. These days we find some of the members, creating noisy uproars and disturbing the proceeding of the House. Sometimes their behaviour become so discomforting that the speaker is compelled to adjourn the House. The precious time of the House, which may have been utilized in constructive debates, is lost. It is high time that the Speaker is empowered to penalize members for interrupting the proceedings of the House.

Question 46
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Which of the following statements you agree with the most? Give your reasons:

1. Legislators must be free to join any party they want.

2. Anti-defection law has contributed to the domination of the party leaders over the legislators.

3. Defection is always for selfish purposes and therefore, a legislator who wants to join another party must be disqualified from being a minister for the next two years.

Solution

1. When a legislator joins any other party leaving his own party this act is called defection. The anti-defection amendment has not been able to curb defections. It has given additional powers to the party leadership and the presiding officers of the legislatures over the members. The presiding officer of a House is the authority who takes a final decision on the defection. Such a person is disqualified and he loses his membership of the House. He is also disqualified from holding any political office.

2. In all the three statements I most agree with the second statement, because the party leaders issue the party-whip that if a member remains absent in the House on a particular day or if he votes against the instructions of the party then his membership of the party would be terminated. Such type of Anti-defection law has empowered the leaders of the party and the presiding officers. Thus the Anti-defection law has contributed to the domination of the party leaders over the legislators. If a legislator is free to join any party he wants, then it will be against the will of the voters who have elected them.

3. According to the third option, defection is always for selfish purposes and therefore a legislator who wants to join another party must be disqualified from being a minister for the next two years. This punishment would not be enough because his membership of the House would not be lost. Hence the second statement is the most suitable to be agreed upon.

Question 47
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Dolly and Sudha are debating about the efficiency and effectiveness of the Parliament in recent times. Dolly believed that the decline of Indian Parliament is evident in the less time spent on debate and discussion and increase in the disturbances of the functioning of the House and walkouts, etc. Sudha contends that the fall of different governments on the floor of Lok Sabha is a proof of its vibrancy. What other arguments can you provide to support or oppose the positions of Dolly and Sudha?

Solution

When we watch the live telecast of the proceedings of the Parliament, we find that the members of the Parliament of different parties often fight bitterly. Many a time an impression is created that they are wasting time and money of the nation. But the Parliament is a debating forum. It is through debates that the Parliament performs all its important functions. These discussions must be meaningful and in a peaceful manner. Due to the negligence of some of its members, the efficiency and effectiveness of the Parliament is decreasing in recent times. Some of the members do not fulfil their duty honestly and due to their partisan behaviour they create uproars in the House.

According to the Dolly’s view it is the evidence of decline of the Indian Parliament because less time is spent in discussions and there is an increase in the disturbances of the functioning of the House, they use sometimes unparliamentary methods also to disturb the functioning of the House. But most of the members use their right properly in the House. They take part in the debate in the House honestly and the function of the House are carried out smoothly and its dignity is maintained.

It is an era of coalition governments. These days, the members of Parliament should behave properly and honestly. They have to restrain own party members if they do the activities which create disturbances in the smooth functioning of the Parliament. The presiding officers should also take effective action with regard to the misbehaving members in the House. All political parties should educate the members belonging to them above the need for a restrained and constructive behaviour in the Houses. In a parliamentary democracy, Legislature, as a body representing the wishes of the people occupies a high position of power and responsibility. Herein lies the democratic potential of the Parliament.

Question 48
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Arrange the different stages of passing of a bill into a law in their correct sequence:

✓ A resolution is passed to admit the bill for discussion.

✓ The bill is referred to the President of India. Write what happens next if she/he does not sign it.

✓ The bill is referred to other house and is passed.

✓ The bill is passed in the house in which it was proposed.

✓ The bill is read clause by clause and each is voted upon.

✓ The bill is referred to the subcommittee – the committee makes some changes and sends it back to the house for discussion.

✓ The concerned minister proposes the need for a bill.

✓ Legislative department in ministry of law drafts a bill.

Solution

Correct sequence of passing a Bill:

1. Legislative department in ministry of law drafts a bill.

2. The concerned minister proposes the need for a bill.

3. A resolution is passed to admit the bill for discussion.

4. The bill is referred to the subcommittee – the committee makes some changes and sends it back to the house for discussion.

5. The bill is read clause by clause and each is voted upon.

6. The bill is passed in the house in which it was proposed.

7. The bill is referred to other house and is passed.

8. The bill is referred to the President of India. The assent of the President results in the enactment of a bill into a law. But if the President does not sign it, he can withhold or refuse to give assent to the bill (other than Money Bill) passed by the Parliament.

The President can send the bill back to the Parliament asking it to reconsider the bill. But in case the Parliament passes it again then the President has to give his/her assent to that bill. But there is no limit of time to send the bill back to Parliament for reconsideration. And the President can just keep the bill pending with him without any time constraint.

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