Authored By: Abhilasha Dhananjay Pawar, Research Intern, Prastaav and Student of Government Law College, Mumbai.

Traditionally, the three organs of government are the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The function of the legislature is to make laws, which is implemented by the executive and adjudicated upon by the judiciary.

The basic function of Parliament is to make laws. The legislature consists of representatives voted in by the people who have  power to enforce the laws in the country. It has the authority to change or amend the Constitution if needed. It controls the government’s revenue and expenditure. The legislature has an important role in law-making. In every country, the laws are made by the legislature. All legislative proposals have to be brought before the Parliament in the form of Bills. A Bill is a statute in draft or a resolution of law that cannot become law until it is approved by  both the Houses of Parliament and the President of India.

In a Government assisted state, laws are purposely intended to address public difficulties and to look into social, political and monetary mistakes and ensure the best approach to equity. Making of official law proposal requires detailed information on the subjects of such enactments, mastery of language and precise details about origination of the objects which are supposed to be encapsulated into law and the ability to convey those objects in an unambiguous expression. The enactment process involves the coordinated efforts and understanding of both expert and laymen and requires extraordinary teamwork of individuals who are involved in drafting of a bill.

A Bill requires a short title, a long title, the preamble and authorised equation at a significant place. While drafting, ‘Date of Effect’ is the most significant part. If in any case, If the date of effect has not been demonstrated, it implies that the provision of the Bill will be applicable following the provision of section 5 of the General Clauses Act 1897 i.e on the date on which it gets passed. Sometimes the Bill may come into force on such dates, which  may be determined by notification in the Official Gazette. Some Bills have definition provision, to stay away from ambiguity and dull repetition.

Additionally, a Bill includes the scope of the employable areas, special cases and exceptions, procedural arrangements, effect of  repealment on acts and rules, punitive provisionality, ability to appoint, cleanse of questions, bearing and sparing statements.

A Bill gets divided into independent passages known as statements, each containing a component of the proposals enclosed within the Bill.

A clause can be separated into sub-clauses and sub-clauses can be additionally separated into parts. Positions are sequentially numbered 1,2,3 and so forth,  sub-clauses (1) (2) (3) and so forth, and the parts (i) (ii) (iii), so forth. A Bill may have significant schedules in that matter of doubts, cases of  records and tables are appended to Schedules.

If a Bill is lengthy, it is subdivided into sections with a short title  for each part, provision and timetable

Bills implementing new proposals, ideas, strategies or having more than 25 provisos are enclosed within  the list  of clauses in the structure of ‘Arrangement of Clauses’ that is in deliberation of the substances of the Bill. Certain Bills have ‘Clauses on the note’ are followed by an explanation of the objects and reasons that expresses each clause of the Bill. Adding to this, the amending Bills include provisions of the Constitution or the main law, which are considered in the type of an Annexure.

The Bill is sanctioned in the form of ‘Be it enacted by Parliament in the … Year of the Republic India’- This means that Parliament which consists of both houses and the President mandates legislation for the nation.

A Bill is proposed in the Parliament. It can be classified into Money Bill, Constitution Amendment Bill and Ordinary Bill which is further divided into Government Bill and Non-Government Bill also known as Private Member Bill:-

Money Bill (Article 110)- Bills related to the revenue and expenditure of the country can be classified as a  Money Bill. In this Bill, the Government collects taxes from the citizens, and different schemes for social welfare are planned. The Bill related to the collection of revenue and disbursement of money is known as  Money Bill and it can be  introduced only in Lok Sabha.

Constitution Amendment Bill (Article 368)- To address the changing needs of society, the Constitution requires modifications and it can be proposed by any member in the  Parliament

Ordinary Bill (Article 107 and 108)- An Ordinary Bill deals with the matters other than financial matters. It can be proposed by any house of the Parliament . It can be introduced by any member in  the Parliament.

Government Bill- Any member of the house can propose a Bill. But when the Bill is issued by any minister it is called a Government Bill. It cannot be seen as a proposal by just an individual minister, but it is stated on the overall policy of the Council of Ministers.

Non- Government Bill- A non-ministerial member can propose this Bill. This Bill is called as Non-Government Bill which is  also known as Private Member Bill.

Recommendations by the Government Officials are initiated by the Cabinet. Proposal of the Government initiates major policies to implement the electoral promises based on which the part has returned to power whereas, proposals on minor policies are initiated by a Minister after the experience of working on current laws.

When an official proposal has been thought of, the Ministry concerned makes the suggestions viz- political, administrative, financial, economic or social or any Ministers of the Government or on the other hand if the State Government is related to any capacity, their recommendation is considered. Legitimate and established approaches to the issues are analysed in service of law or Attorney General.

When the Proposal gets inspected thoroughly from all point of views and is counselled to those who are concerned about it, an independent update is presented to the cabinet for authorisation by the service of the law.

The Cabinet confines its dialogue to a  wider range of hidden parts of the proposal and states its choice. If the proposal is important, the Cabinet may solicit permanent boards of trustees or a  Standing Committee, for more notable details and may also need it after approving the principles underlying the proposal, the draft of the actual Bill should be submitted for detailed scrutiny.

After the proposal gets sanctioned by the Cabinet, the Administrative Ministry forwards the papers to the Draftsman in the Law Ministry, to put the proposal as a Bill.

The role of Draftsman is extremely demanding and he must be exceptionally prepared and experienced. He should have a detailed and a close understanding of the Indian Statute Book and also some additional expressions used in various government branches and their definite understanding. He should have a general picture of working of the Government and its issue. The words and expressions which are used in the bill must be passed with the simple and clear aim with no ambiguity.

Ministry concerned should give them proper assistance and should be associated with all the relevant materials and records with proposals and supplement data by oral dialogues, to make the Bill perfect. The Bill which is drafted shall be analysed by the Administrative Ministry. Before it becomes an Act, it has to be drafted, analysed, examined in detail  and then proposed by the Cabinet or the Committee

After the Bill has gone  through all different stages and has long been agreed upon by the draftsman, experts ministers and cabinet, it is consulted to the Administrative Ministry, for the preparation of a ‘Statement of Objects and Reasons’ briefly clarifying the motivation behind the proposed enactment, which helps in understanding the need and extent of the Bill.

In some cases, the bill is additionally attached to the  ‘Notes on Clauses’, ‘Monetary Memorandum’, which clarifies a recommendation, which accepts any authority, for the designation of official forces, and wants to look at the ordinance to replace the ordinance with the bill.

Once the Bill is approved, by all means, it is addressed to the Draftsman, who after final verification, sends the Bill for printing. The two proof copies are duly examined by him and then sent to the Secretary-General of the House in which the Bill is proposed to be introduced. After the proof copy, the Secretary-General acquires the Bill from the Draftsman to assign Bill number of the year, to have the lines on each page of the Bill numbered as 5,10,15 etc . and to have a requisite number of copies printed.

Provisions in Bills including expenditure from Consolidated Fund of India are printed in coarse type in italics; but when this requirement is not met, the Chairman has the power to allow the member in charge to bring such clause to the notice of the House.

The Bill is included in the “List of Business for the Day” on which the ministers propose to present it. Article 117(3) of the Indian Constitution provides that the President reserves the right to give suggestions in relation with the bill which are later reiterated during the verification stage of the passing of the bill as “statement of objects and reason” and in case of late suggestion given after the bill has been printed, it is printed out in the parliamentary bulletin.

While presenting the Bill in the Parliament, the Bill first goes in Lok Sabha and then the Rajya Sabha.

The Ordinary Bill can be introduced by either a minister of the government or any private member of the House.

[First House]

First Reading – The first stage is the introduction and only the purpose of Bill is explained. The bill is published in the Gazette of India after the introduction of the bill.

Second Reading – A general discussion is held and the bill is referred to a Committee of the House. It refers the Bill to the Joint Committee of the two Houses.

Committee Stage – Select Committee looks through the Bill in depth, clause by clause. It has the authority to amend policies, without altering the principles and revert it back to the House.

(Select Committee- It consists of members of the House where the Bill as introduced.)

(Joint Committee – It consists of members from both the Houses)

Consideration/Report Stage- After receiving the Bill from the Select Committee, each clause is discussed in detail, clause by clause and voted upon separately. The members have the authority to amend the Bill and if it gets accepted by the House, it will get added to the Bill.

Third Reading –If the Bill is passed by a majority of the members present, the Bill is considered to be passed by the House or it is rejected.

[Second House]

The first three stages are the same as the First House. i.e-

First Reading

Second Reading

Third Reading

It can pass the Bill, sent by the First House with or without amending it, may reject the Bill or keep the Bill pending. If the Second House keeps the  Bill with them for more than 6 months, a Joint Session is held by Presidents of both the Houses.

The President’s assent is required for a bill to be passed, he may after a bill has been passed in both houses of parliament, either approve, withhold or revert a bill for consideration.

Constitution Amendment Bill can be proposed in either Houses. There is no provision for Joint Session. It is required to be passed by each house with a special majority. When it is approved by both the Houses, it is sent to the President. The President has no option but to give his assent on the Bill.

Money Bill is particularly introduced in Lok Sabha, under the advice of the President. After the Bill has been passed by the House of People, it goes to Council of State for its recommendation and it cannot reject a Bill. Rajya Sabha’s suggestions are not binding to Lok Sabha. If the Bill passed in Lok Sabha is not returned by Rajya Sabha within 15 days it is considered to be passed. There is no option of Joint Session. President’s assent is a formality and cannot reject the Bill, because Money Bill is proposed with his  prior approval. Whether a Bill is a Money Bill or some other Bill is decided by the Speaker of Lok Sabha.


Reference Note: The Drafting Procedures have been consulted from various documents of Law Ministry, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.


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