Joint Session of Indian Parliament
The Parliament of India is bicameral. Concurrence of both houses are required to pass any bill. However, the makers of the Constitution of India visualised situations of deadlock between the upper house i.e. Rajya Sabha and the lower house i.e. Lok Sabha. Therefore, the Constitution of India provides for Joint sittings of both the Houses to break this deadlock. The joint sitting of the Parliament is called by the President (Article 108) and is presided over by the Speaker or, in his absence, by the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha or in his absence, the Deputy-Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The Chairman doesn't preside over the joint session at any mens/cost. If any of the above officers are not present then any other member of the Parliament can preside by consensus of both the House.
Provisions of Constitution
As per Article 108 of Constitution, a Joint session of Parliament can be summoned in the following situations.
If after a Bill has been passed by one House and submitted to the other House—
(a) the Bill is rejected by the other House; or (b) the Houses have finally disagreed as to the amendments to be made in the Bill; or (c) more than six months elapse from the date of the reception of the Bill by the other House without the Bill being passed by it, the President may, unless the Bill has elapsed by reason of a dissolution of the House of the People, notify to the Houses by message if they are sitting or by public notification if they are not sitting, his intention to summon them to meet in a joint sitting for the purpose of deliberating and voting on the Bill.
However, in calculating period of six months, those days are not considered when house is prorogued or adjourned for more than 4 consecutive days.
If the above conditions are satisfied, the President of India may summon joint sitting of both the houses of parliament.
Exception to joint sittings
Not all bills can be refereed to a joint sitting of Parliament. There are two exception.
1. Money Bill
Under the Constitution of India, money bills require approval of the Lok Sabha only. Rajya Sabha can make recommendations to Lok Sabha, which it is not required to accept. Even if Rajya Sabha doesn't pass a money bill within 14 days, it is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses of Parliament after expiry of the above period. Therefore, a requirement to summon a joint session can never arise in the case of money bill.
Article 368 of Indian constitution require that constitution of India can be amended by both houses of parliament by 2/3 majority(special majority) . In case of disagreement between both houses, there is no provision to summon a joint session of parliament.
Bills referred to joint session
Joint session of Indian parliament has been called for only 3 bills i.e. dowry prohibition act, 1960, banking service commission act, 1977 and POTA, 2002 .
BILLS PASSED IN JOINT SESSION: 1. Dowry Prohibition Bill , 1961 2. Banking Service Commission ( Repeal) Bill , 1978 3. Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2002
- "The Constitution of India" (PDF). Lawmin.nic.in. Retrieved 2016-12-03.