LS Speaker caps private members' bills at 3 per session

Lok Sabha Speaker caps private members' bills at 3 per session

Om Birla. (PTI Photo)

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has capped the private members' bills that a member can introduce in the lower house at three per session.

The move, the Speaker believes, would help improve the quality of the draft legislations and also ensure that the House deliberates on it within a reasonable time period.

At present, private members' bills are debated on alternate Fridays when the House is in session and stand little chance of becoming a law without government support.

There have been instances when more than 50 private members' bills have been introduced in the House and very few have been taken up for discussion.

According to available data, more than two thousand private members' bills have been introduced in the Lok Sabha over the past two decades and only 49 were taken up for discussion.

Birla amended the 'Directions by Speaker', the guidelines to be followed by the presiding officer, to cap the private members' bills a member can introduce in a session.

“A member shall be permitted to introduce not more than three private member's Bills during a session. Where notices of Bills received from a member are in excess of three, the first three admissible notices shall be taken into consideration, unless the member has indicated the preference,” read an amendment to Direction 27.

In May 1997, the then Rajya Sabha Chairman K R Narayanan had capped the private members' bills, a member could introduce in the House, to three per session.

Similar discussions were also held in the House of Commons in Britain, where the then
Speaker John Bercow and made strong case for overhauling of the private members' bills.

“The talking out of bills, though done both within our rules and often with destructive skill, has not enhanced the reputation of the House,” Bercow had observed in 2017.

Similarly, the Speaker has restricted the number of cut motions a single member could move to demands for grants of a ministry to 10. The amendments that a member can move to the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address too has been capped at 10.

The Budget Session of Parliament begins on January 31 with President Ram Nath Kovind's address to the joint sitting of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in the Central Hall.