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A Special Session: Parliamentary Journey of 75 years

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 16-09-2023
A Special Session: Parliamentary Journey of 75 years Committee and Commission 11 min read

Discussion on Parliamentary Journey of 75 years," will be held on the first day of the special session of Parliament, convened from 18 to 22 September.

On the first day a discussion on the Parliamentary Journey of 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha - Achievements, Experiences, Memories, and Learnings will be held in Lok Sabha. 

  • The Government has listed Bill on the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner, and other election commissioners in the upcoming Parliament Session. 
  • Apart from this The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, The Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, and The Post Office Bill is scheduled to be taken up for discussion during the session. 
  • The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, The Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill has been passed by Rajya Sabha and is pending in Lok Sabha. The Post Office Bill and The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Condition of Service, and Term of Office) Bill have already been introduced in Rajya Sabha.

Special Session of Parliament

Though the special session term is not used in the Constitution anywhere, it is commonly linked with sessions called by the administration to commemorate significant legislative or national events.

Need for calling a special session:

Typically, a few days before the commencement of a Parliamentary session, the government holds an all-party meeting to propose the agenda and reach an agreement on potential debate themes.

  • The last special session was convened in 2017 during the roll out of the GST tax regime.

Power of calling a session:

The Constitution gives the government the power to convene a session of Parliament.

The decision to call a session is taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs and the Members of Parliament (MPs) are summoned in the name of the President.

NOTE: It is important to note that the Indian Constitution does not mention the term “special session” of Parliament.

Constitutional Article: 

A special session by the government will be summoned as per provisions of Article 85(1), under which all sessions are held.

  • It's worth noting that Article 352, which deals with the Proclamation of Emergency, does specify a “special sitting of the House”.

Session of Parliament:

  • Budget session from February to May 
  • Monsoon session from July to September 
  • Winter session from November to December 

Time between two sessions:

According to the Constitution, there shouldn’t be a gap of more than six months between two Parliamentary sessions. 

  • This clause was modified from the Government of India Act of 1935, which gave the British governor general the power to convene sessions of the central legislature no more frequently than once every 12 months.
  • BR Ambedkar said the purpose was only to collect revenue, and the once-a-year meeting was designed to avoid scrutiny of the government by the legislature. The Constituent Assembly went ahead and shortened the time between two sessions to six months.
  • The presiding officers may limit proceedings during a special session, and procedures like question hour may be skipped.

Joint Sitting of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha

Under Article 108 the joint sitting of the Parliament is called by the President.

Joint sitting is extraordinary machinery provided by the Constitution to resolve a deadlock between the two Houses over the passage of a bill.

Reasons for Joint Sitting

  • If the bill is rejected by the other House.
  • If the Houses have finally disagreed as to the amendments to be made in the bill.
  • If more than six months have elapsed from the date of the receipt of the bill by the other House without the bill being passed by it.

Joint Sitting can be called for only ordinary bills or financial bills and not to money bills or Constitutional amendment bills.

In the case of a money bill, the Lok Sabha has overriding powers, while a Constitutional amendment bill must be passed by each House separately.

President of Joint Sitting: The Speaker of Lok Sabha presides over a joint sitting of the two Houses and the Deputy Speaker, in his absence.

  • If both are absent, the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha presides.

Quorum: The quorum to constitute a joint sitting is one-tenth of the total number of members of the two Houses.

Since 1950, The bills that have been passed at joint sittings are:

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

Adoption of Constitution by Constituent Assembly

The Constituent Assembly met for the first time in New Delhi on 9 December, 1946 in the Constitution Hall which is now known as the Central Hall of Parliament House.

Dignitaries present: 

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Acharya J.B. Kripalani, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Smt. Sarojini Naidu, Shri Hare-Krushna Mahatab, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Shri Sarat Chandra Bose, Shri C. Rajagopalachari and Shri M. Asaf Ali. Two hundred and seven representatives, including nine women, were present.

The inaugural session began at 11 a.m. with the introduction of Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha, the temporary Chairman of the Assembly.

Days in drafting: 

The Constituent Assembly took almost three years (two years, eleven months and eighteen days to be precise) to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India. 

  • During this period, it held eleven sessions covering a total of 165 days. Of these, 114 days were spent on the consideration of the Draft Constitution.

Election of members: 

As to its composition, members were chosen by indirect election by the members of the Provincial Legislative Assemblies, according to the scheme recommended by the Cabinet Mission. 

  • The arrangement was: (i) 292 members were elected through the Provincial Legislative Assemblies; (ii) 93 members represented the Indian Princely States; and (iii) 4 members represented the Chief Commissioners' Provinces. 
  • The total membership of the Assembly thus was to be 389. However, as a result of the partition under the Mountbatten Plan of 3 June, 1947, a separate Constituent Assembly was set up for Pakistan and representatives of some Provinces ceased to be members of the Assembly. As a result, the membership of the Assembly was reduced to 299.

Objective Resolution:

On 13 December, 1946, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru moved the Objectives Resolution which later became Preamble.

This Resolution was unanimously adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 22 January 1947.

Drafting Committee: 

On 29 August, 1947, the Constituent Assembly set up a Drafting Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to prepare a Draft Constitution for India.

Adoption of the Constitution:

  • The Constitution of India was adopted on 26 November, 1949 and the hon'ble members appended their signatures to it on 24 January, 1950. In all, 284 members actually signed the Constitution.
  • The Constitution of India came into force on 26 January, 1950. On that day, the Assembly ceased to exist, transforming itself into the Provisional Parliament of India until a new Parliament was constituted in 1952.




Answer: Article 85

Answer: Article 108

Answer: Lok Sabha Speaker

Answer: Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru

Answer: Dr. BR Ambedkar

Answer: 26 November 1949

Answer: Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha
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