March 1, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

A Blog for IAS Examination

WINTER SESSION OF PARLIAMENT: A COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW

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TAG: GS 2: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

THE CONTEXT: The Winter Session of Parliament from December 4 to December 21, 2023, witnessed a legislative journey marked by a significant number of Bills, suspension of MPs, security breaches, and procedural deviations.

EXPLANATION:

  • Despite being scheduled until December 22, both Houses adjourned a day earlier.
  • The Lok Sabha functioned for 74% of its allotted time, whereas the Rajya Sabha operated for 81%.

Suspension of Members and Ethical Misconduct

  • Following a security breach on December 13, both Houses faced early adjournment, resulting in a subsequent dip in Parliament’s functionality.
  • A notable consequence was the suspension of 100 Lok Sabha MPs and 46 Rajya Sabha MPs, constituting 19% of each House, marking the highest number of suspensions in any Lok Sabha term.
  • Moreover, an MP faced expulsion for ethical misconduct, a rare occurrence in parliamentary history.

Legislation and Referral to Committees

  • All 10 Bills introduced during the session, along with seven pending Bills from previous sessions, were successfully passed.
  • Notably, no Bills were referred to Committees in this session, indicating a decrease from 71% during the 15th Lok Sabha to a mere 16% in the current 17th Lok Sabha.

Discussion on Crucial Bills and State of Economy

  • The Telecommunications Bill, 2023, which reshapes the telecom sector’s regulatory framework, was swiftly passed within three days of its introduction.
  • Additionally, three Bills replacing significant laws were discussed extensively in both Houses.
  • Rajya Sabha dedicated over 10 hours to deliberating the state of the economy and passed a supplementary budget increasing the annual budget by 1%.

Question Hour and Last-Minute Agenda Additions

  • Question hour faced disruptions due to suspended MPs, resulting in the cancellation of questions asked by them.
  • Both Houses witnessed a reduction in the time allocated for the Question Hour, functioning at 53% in Lok Sabha and 72% in Rajya Sabha.
  • Furthermore, last-minute additions to the House agenda through Supplementary Agendas reduced MPs’ preparation time for interventions and debates.

Missing Deputy Speaker and Procedural Requirements

  • An unprecedented development was the absence of the Deputy Speaker in the 17th Lok Sabha for almost its entire term, contrary to the constitutional mandate.
  • The election of the Deputy Speaker is constitutionally prescribed soon after the formation of the Lok Sabha.

Conclusion

  • The Winter Session of Parliament was eventful, marked by intense legislative activity, discussions on critical Bills, suspensions of MPs, disruptions due to security breaches, and procedural irregularities.
  • The absence of the Deputy Speaker throughout the term raises procedural concerns, while the reduced referral of Bills to Committees reflects a shifting parliamentary approach.

SOURCE: https://m.thewire.in/article/government/winter-session-snapshot-record-number-of-lok-sabha-mps-suspended-no-bills-sent-to-committees/amp

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