The Indian Constitution has provisions for holding joint session of the two houses of the Parliament. Enumerate the occasions when this would normally happen and also the occasions when it cannot, with reasons thereof. (15 Marks)

Mentors Comments:
  • Mention the definition of a Joint session and it’s goals.
  • Enumerate, in what instances the sessions would happen and when it won’t.

Answer:

India has a bicameral legislature, passage of any bill requires concurrence of both houses (the lower house, Lok Sabha and the upper house, Rajya Sabha). The Constitution makers foresaw such situations where a deadlock may occur between the two houses of the Parliament and to resolve this deadlock provision of joint sitting is provided in Indian Constitution.

Details about Joint sitting of Parliament 

Article 108 of the Indian Constitution provides for a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament

  • The joint session is summoned by the President.
  • It is presided over by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha
  • The joint sitting is governed by the Rules of Procedure of Lok Sabha and not of Rajya Sabha.
  • The quorum to constitute a joint sitting: 1/10th of the total number of members of the House.
  • The Bill is passed by a simple majority of the total number of members of both the Houses present and voting in the joint sitting,

Occasions when Joint Session of Parliament is summoned:

  1. To resolve deadlock when any house of the Parliament passes a bill and:
    1. The other House rejects this bill, or
    2. The Houses do not agree on the amendments made to the bill, or
    3. More than six months elapsed with the bill being received by the other House without it being passed.
  2. According to Article 87 of the Constitution, there are two instances when the country’s President specifically addresses a joint sitting of both Houses. They are:
    1. At the start of the first session after a general election. This is when the reconstituted ok Sabha meets for the first time after being elected.
    2. At the start of the first session every year.
  3. When any foreign dignitary may addresses the Parliament e.g. Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Parliament during his visit in 2010.

Some Examples of Joint Sessions to resolve deadlock

Since 1950, the provision regarding the joint sitting of the two Houses has been invoked only thrice. The bills that have been passed at joint sittings are:

  1.  Dowry Prohibition Bill, 1960.
  2. Banking Service Commission (Repeal) Bill, 1977.
  3. Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2002.

Exceptions to Joint Session

According to the Indian Constitution, there are two exceptions when a joint sitting cannot be summoned. They are for the following bills:

  1. Constitution Amendment Bill: According to Article 368, both houses of Parliament must pass a Constitutional Amendment bill separately. There is no provision for a joint sitting in case of a disagreement.
  2. Money Bill (Article 110): As per the Constitution, money bills require the Lok Sabha’s approval only, Rajya Sabha has limited powers in this regard.

Joint sitting is an extraordinary machinery provided by the Constitution aimed to maintain a much-needed synergy between the two houses of the Parliament.

 

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Banke Bihari
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Your introduction is good and contain all relevant information — but it is one full page long. In actual exam, you may not have shortage of page, but most probably you will be running out of time.
Good attempt at drawing a diagram.
Overall structure is good with use of subheadings to deal with different parts of questions.

If you have made a mistake and want to change it (like you made in writing 2010), just strike it off neatly and write again. Overwriting should be avoided. It looks ugly and at same time makes reading difficult.

When writing exceptions, please mention both exceptions (Amendment bill and Money bill) separately and mention reason. You have written a single line for both, however reason behind exceptions in both cases are different. Is it not?

Good attempt.
Keep writing!!

Divya Murugesan
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Banke Bihari
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Introduction should mention Article 108.
Beware of generalizations (not all bill passed needs concurrence of both houses, money bill is exception!!). Factual mistakes can be costly.
You have made proper subheadings and mentioned Article in main body. Good!!
You have underlined important areas which will help examiner see important points without extra effort.
Your hand writing is neat and legible. Spacing is also proper.
But Divya… Your answer is so similar in content and structure to model answer that it gives impression that you have first read model and then reproduced it.
It will help you more if you first write your own answer and submit it. Then refer to model to see what you missed.
All the best!!

Divya Murugesan
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Thanks sir for the Review. Yes sir, you are right. I have read the model answer before attempting my question. I will try my own answer from next time onwards before referring to the model answer sir.

I have a doubt sir. In questions like these, how to score extra Marks when the content is same and can be reproduced by all in an equal manner?

Banke Bihari
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Am No sir… Banke will do fine 🙂

These are static problems and facts remain same. But
1. Not all will be able to recall all the facts in pressure cooker situation of exam. So trick is frequent revision and thinking over topics.
2. Your structure overall is good. You may try drawing some diagram to express same fact. like refer to 2nd page of Sahithya`s answer to the same question.

Divya Murugesan
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Thank you Banke sir. 😀 Points Noted. 👍

Rahul Bansal
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How to attach a file. I am not getting attachment option. Is it because I have not joined Daily Answer Writing

hariom singh
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Banke Bihari
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You should have defined what a deadlock means (i.e disagreement between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) in introduction it self.
Whenever you use a technical term, just make it clear what you meat by that. Please do not assume that examiner will understand himself.

Good that you mentioned Article number. This gives credibility to your answer.

This is 15 marks question. So you should have dealt with provisions of Article 108 in some more details (like Who presides over it? Whether a bill in joint session is passed by simple majority or special?).

You made a table which is a good way to list different conditions.
But…. complete the table by drawing horizontal and vertical partitions. You wont want examiner to struggle to find where your 1st condition ended and where 2nd started. More s/he struggles, more you are in trouble. Make examiners life easy!!

Reason behind application of Article 108 in all the three conditions listed by you is same — To break deadlock over an important legislation.

You have missed mentioning other two scenarios when a joint session can be called (Address by the President and address by a foreign dignitary). See model.

In exceptions
Please mention Article number of Provision for Amendment Act (Article 368) and Money bill (Article 110).
In writing reasons, you referred to constitutional provisions. Better if you can write logic behind those provisions also. (You did tried doing so in amendment bill.. good)
You should answer this question — Why Rajya Sabha has not been given same power over Money bill as Lok Sabha?

You could have listed 3 occasions when Article 108 have been invoked. Examples, just like Articles, makes your answer more credible.

Hariom, now, Some general points!!
1. Try to improve your hand writing. Even small improvement will be good.
2. Keep proper spacing between lines and paragraphs. In exam, you will have ample space. Proper spacing makes your answer neat. This may also hide your handwriting issue.
3. Work on sentence structuring. It should be simple and lucid. Refer to your Introduction sentence. Same sentence could have been written as “In case of deadlock over a bill between two houses of the Parliament, the constitution has provision for joint sitting of the two houses.”

Good attempt.
Keep improving… one step at a time!!

Alitoli Achumi
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so the joint setting is held in which house?