The Parliament is the legislative organ of the union government. It occupies a pre-eminent and central position in the Indian democratic political system.
What is session of the Parliament?
A session of the Parliament is the period during which a House meets almost every day uninterruptedly to manage the business. The President from time to time summons each House of the Parliament to meet. But the maximum gap between two sessions of the Parliament cannot be more than six months. In other words, Parliament should meet a minimum of twice a year. There are usually three sessions in a year.
- Budget Session
- Monsoon Session
- Winter Session
The budget session takes place in February to May every year. It is considered to be an important session of the Parliament. The Budget is generally presented on the last working day of the month of February. In this session, the Members of the Parliament (MP) discuss the various provisions of the budget and matters concerning taxation, after the Finance Minister presents the budget.
The budget session is usually split into two periods with a gap of one month between them. The session starts with the President’s Address to both Houses.
The monsoon session takes place in July to September every year after the gap of two months (after the budget session). In this session, matters of public interest are to be discussed.
The winter session takes place in mid-November to mid-December every year. It is the shortest session of all the sessions. It discusses the matters that could not be considered upon earlier and makes up for the absence of legislative business during the second session of the Parliament.
Joint Session/Sitting of Parliament
Article 108 of the Constitution of India deals the joint sitting of the Parliament to resolve a deadlock between the two Houses i.e., the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha over the passage of a bill. A deadlock is could have been taken place under any one of the following three:
- if the bill is rejected other House
- if the Houses finally disagreed on the amendments made to the bill
- if more than 6 months have elapsed from the date of the receipt of the bill by the other House without the bill being passed by it
In order to break any deadlock, the President can summon both the Houses to meet in a joint sitting for the purpose of deliberating and voting on the bill. Such session is presided by the Speaker, and in his/her absence, by the Deputy Speaker. If both Speaker and Deputy Speaker are absence then, it is presided by the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. If any of the above is not present, any other member of the Parliament can preside by consensus of both the Houses.
Money Bill and Constitution Amendment Bill are the exceptions to Joint Sittings because there are no provisions for a Joint Sittings of Parliament for these bills.