All Bills other than Money Bills are called ordinary Bills. The procedure for passing ordinary Bills is different from that adopted in the case of Money Bills.
An ordinary Bill, unlike Money Bill, need not be introduced first in the Lok Sabha. Moreover, it can be introduced even by private members. Ordinary Bills are of two types-Government Bills and Private Member’s Bills. Both undergo an identical procedure.
Emergence of a Legislative proposal:
Most of the ordinary Bills are moved by the ministers. The ministry concerned seeks the advice of experts, the Law Ministry and the Attorneys-General of India.
After considering the legal and constitutional aspects of the proposed legislation, the Bill is moved in any House Drafting of Bill is a technical job done by experts and approved by the council of ministers. Certain types of Bills require the previous permission of the President which is easily obtained. Every ordinary Bill in order to become an Act passed through the following stages;
Introduction and First Reading:
he draft of a proposed ordinary Bill has first to be sent to the secretariat of the House in which it is to be presented. A months notice is given to the speaker regarding the introduction of the Bill. The speaker or the chairman, as the case may be, includes the bill in the list of business and gives d date for its formal introduction.
The pioneer of that Bill rises from his seat and requests the chair to permit him to move the Bill where upon the assent is given and the Bill is declared to have been moved. The introduction of first reading of the Bill is a mere formality and no discussion takes place at this stage.
This convention has been broken on a few occasions. For instance, the Preventive Detention Amendment Act, moved on 23rd November, 1954 was opposed at the time of introduction on the ground that it was unconstitutional. In the past few years there have been such instances when a Government Bill was opposed on the ground that it was outside the competence of the House.
In such cases the chairman or the speaker gives an opportunity each to the mover of the Bill and its opponents to explain their points of view. If any member raises a constitutional objection, the man in the chair allows a full debate at the time of first reading. After introduction, the Bill is published in the Gazette of India. The speaker or the chairman can allow the publication of a Bill even before its first reading. In such a case the Bill does not have to pass through the introduction stage.
Second Reading of the Bill:
The second reading consist of consideration of the Bill generally there is an interval of two days between the introduction and the second reading. The mover of the Bill then adopts any of the three courses (1) That the Bill may be taken into consideration by the House at once; (2) that it may be referred to a select committee; (3) that it may be circulated for eliciting public opinion.
Only in exceptional cases is a Bill taken up for consideration at once. The members of the House are permitted to oppose the suggestion of the mover of the Bill when the House decides the elicit public opinion the secretariat of the House requests the state Governments to publish that Bill in the state Gazette and invite opinions from local bodies and recognised associations.
The gist of public opinion is than circulated amongst the members of the House. Then again a discussion takes place.” The supporters of the Bill point out the merits of the Bill while the members opposing it attack the Bill. But it is to be noted that the Bill is discussed as a whole, not clause by clause.
If the House accepts to refer the Bill to a select committee of the House, the mover suggests the names of persons who would constitute the committee. A time is also fixed for the submission of its report. The speaker appoints the chairman of the committee from amongst its members.
If the Deputy Speaker happens to be one of the members he automatically becomes the chairman. Generally the strength of such a select committee varies between 20 and 30. The quorum for the sitting of a select committee is one-third of the total number.
The committee makes a thorough scrutiny of the Bill and suggests some useful changes. A minister, who is not a member of the committee may, with the permission of the chairman, address the committee. The chairman of the committee has a casting vote. He also sign the report.
The Report of the committee is laid before the House either by the chairman or some other members in his absence. The Bill along with the Report is then circulated among the members.
At this stage the mover of the Bill either proposes that the Bill in the light of the Report may be considered by the House, or it may be submitted again for reconsideration either by the same committee or a different committee or that it may be circulated again for eliciting public opinion.
If the House accepts the Bill as reported by the committee, the same is put to another, reading. The Bill is then discussed thoroughly clause by clause.
Amendments are moved and accepted or rejected. Report stage is the most important stage. Each amendment and each clause is submitted to the vote of the House. Every issue is decided by the majority vote of the persons present and voting.
Third Reading of the Bill:
Third reading is the last stage of an ordinary Bill in either house. Only common places regarding the Bill are discussed at this stage.
No amendment is accepted except that which aims at correcting same verbal flow. The convention is that no Bill of this stage is ever rejected.
The Bill in the other House:
The Bill after being adopted by one House is sent to the other House. It has to undergo the same stages again. When the other House also passes the Bill in its original form, it is sent to the President for his assent.
If the other house refuses to pass the Bill or suggests such amendments as do not find favour with the former House or does not return the Bill within six months, a serious dead lock is created.
In that case the President summons both the Houses to meet at a joint sitting for the purpose of voting on the Bill. The speaker or on his absence the Deputy speaker presides. The Bill is then put to the vote of the members of both the Houses. It is carried by the majority vote of the members present and voting.
Assent of the President:
Every Bill in order to become an Act requires the assent of the President. The President may either give his assent, or return it for reconsideration with or without his suggestions for amendment.
If the President gives his assent, the Bill becomes a law. If he sends back the Bill for reconsideration and if the Bill is passed by both the Houses again in an amended or original form, the President has to give his assent thereto. After the President’s assent the Act is published in the Gazette of India. In this way the bill becomes an act.