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Parliament Part 5- Sessions of Parliament|POLITY

Sessions of Parliament | Parliament Part 5- Sessions of Parliament

  • A session of the Indian Parliament is the period during which a House meets almost every day uninterruptedly to manage the business. There are typically three sessions in a year. A session contains many meetings.
  • The process of calling all members of the Parliament to meet is called Summoning of Parliament. It is the President who summons Parliament. The period spanning between the prorogation of a House and its reassembly in a new session is called ‘recess’.
  • In general, the sessions are as follows:
    • Budget session (February to May)
    • Monsoon session (July to September)
    • Winter session (November to December)

Adjournment

  • A session of Parliament consists of many meetings. Each meeting of a day consists of two sittings, that is, a morning sitting from 11 am to 1 pm and post-lunch sitting from 2 pm to 6 pm. A sitting of Parliament can be terminated by adjournment or adjournment sine die or prorogation or dissolution (in the case of the Lok Sabha). An adjournment suspends the work in a sitting for a specified time, which may be hours, days or weeks.

Adjournment Sine Die

  • Adjournment sine die means terminating a sitting of Parliament for an indefinite period. In other words, when the House is adjourned without naming a day for reassembly, it is called adjournment sine die. The power of adjournment as well as adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer of the House. He can also call a sitting of the House before the date or time to which it has been adjourned or at any time after the House has been adjourned sine die.

Prorogation

  • The presiding officer (Speaker or Chairman) declares the House adjourned sine die, when the business of a session is completed. Within the next few days, the President issues a notification for prorogation of the session. However, the President can also prorogue the House while in session.

Dissolution 

  • The Lok Sabha is dissolved at the end of its five-year term (automatic dissolution) or by a Presidential order.
  • The Rajya Sabha is not dissolved. Its members have a fixed term of 6 years, with a third of its members up for elections every two years.
  • When does the President give the order for Lok Sabha’s dissolution?
  • If authorised by the Council of Ministers, he can give the order even before the end of the five-year term.
  • He can also dissolve if the Council of Ministers lose confidence and no party is able to prove majority.
  • When the Lok Sabha is dissolved, all business including bills, motions, resolutions, notices, petitions, etc. pending before it or its committees lapse.
  • The last session before the Lok Sabha is dissolved is called a Lame Duck session.
  • Only the President can dissolve the House.

Quorum | Parliament Part 5- Sessions of Parliament

  • Quorum is the minimum number of members required to be present in the House before it can transact any business. It is one tenth of the total number of members in each House including the presiding officer. It means that there must be at least 55 members present in the Lok Sabha and 25 members present in the Rajya Sabha, if any business is to be conducted. If there is no quorum during a meeting of the House, it is the duty of the presiding officer either to adjourn the House or to suspend the meeting until there is a quorum.

Language in Parliament

  • The Constitution has declared Hindi and English to be the languages for transacting business in the Parliament. However, the presiding officer can permit a member to address the House in his mother-tongue. In both the Houses, arrangements are made for simultaneous translation. Though English was to be discontinued as a floor language after the expiration of fifteen years from the commencement of the Constitution (that is, in 1965), the Official Languages Act (1963) allowed English to be continued along with Hindi.

Lame-duck Session

  • It refers to the last session of the existing Lok Sabha, after a new Lok Sabha has been elected. Those members of the existing Lok Sabha who could not get re-elected to the new Lok Sabha are called lame-ducks.

 

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