What are the main differences between the passage of a Constitutional Amendment Bill and other Legislative Bills?

ADVERTISEMENTS:

All legislative proposals are initiated in the parliament in the form of Bills. A Bill is a draft of legislative proposals. It can be initiated by the government or by any private member in either house of parliament. All Bills which are not Constitution Amendment Bills, and Money Bills, are ordinary Bills, i.e., draft proposals for ordinary legislation.

An ordinary Bill can be introduced in either house of parliament. The constitution provides that an ordinary Bill must be passed by both houses-lok sabha and Rajya Sabha. A Bill passes through certain stages in each house before being presented to the president for his assent.

In case of a deadlock due to disagreement between the two houses on a Bill, an extraordinary situation arises which is resolved by both the houses sitting together. The constitution empowers the president to summon a “Joint sitting” of both houses for the purpose of deliberation and voting on the Bill. In joint session, Lok Sabha, due to its numerical superiority may have a decisive advantage.

ADVERTISEMENTS:

The procedure for amendment of the constitution of India has been laid down in Art 368. An amendment of the constitution may be initiated in either house of parliament. Certain other provisions of constitution can be amended only it they are (a) passed by a majority of total membership of each house of parliament and by a majority of not less than two thirds of the members present and voting in each house; and (b) ratified by the legislatures of one-half of the states.

The amendment of the remaining provisions of the constitution required to be passed by a majority of the total membership of each house and a majority of not less than two thirds of the members present and voting in each house.

The main differences between the passage of a constitution Amendment Bill and an Ordinary Bill are as follows-

(i) the constitution does not empower the state legislatures to initiate constitutional amendments.

ADVERTISEMENTS:

(ii) there is no provision of joint setting in case of a deadlock in the matter of an Amendment Bill.

(iii) The president cannot with hold his assent to amendments or return such bills to parliament for reconsideration.

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