Difference Between a bill and an act-
A bill is the draft of a lawmaking proposal, which, when passed by both houses of Parliament and agreed by the President, becomes an Act of Parliament. As soon as the bill has been wreathed, it has to be published in the news papers and the general public is asked to comment in a democratic manner. The bill may then be improved to incorporate the public opinion in a helpful manner and then may be brought in the Parliament by ministers or private members. Bills may also be classified as public bills and private bills. A public bill is one alluding to a matter administrated to the public in general, whereas a private bill relates to a particular person or corporation or institution.
Types of Bills introduced-
Bills introduced in the Indian Parliament can be classified into 4 types of bills. They are-
These Bills can be introduced in either House of Indian Parliament whether they are Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha without the suggestion of President of India. These bills are passed by Simple Majority in both Houses.
Constitutional Amendment Bills-
These bills can be introduced in any of the two Houses without suggestion of the President. Such Bills must be passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha separately with a special majority. By 24th Constitution Amendment Act, 1971 it is compulsory for the president to give his agreement to the Constitutional Amendment Bills.
These Bills deals with the taxes, borrowings, consolidated and contingency funds, audit and accounting, etc. Article 109 of Indian Constitution gives special procedure regarding Money Bills. A money Bill can originate only in Lok Sabha after the recommendations of the President.
Any Bill dealing with profits or payments but not accredit as Money Bill by the Speaker is a Financial Bill. Financial Bill can only be introduced in Lok Sabha on the recommendations of the President & should be passed by both Houses of Indian Parliament by simple majority.
The Process of Passing a Bill-
Lawmaking involves several steps. The need for a new law, or an modification to an existing piece of legislation, is first identified. This may be done either by the government or by citizen groups who can raise public awareness regarding the need for the law. The anxious ministry outlines a text of the proposed law, which is called a ‘Bill’ which is presented to the Cabinet for approval then introduced in the Parliament. It is mandatory that every Bill must have to go through the three Readings in both Houses before it becomes an Act. During the First Reading the Bill is introduced. The introduction of a Bill may be opposed and the matter may be put to a vote in the House. After that Bill has been introduced, the Presiding Officer of the that perturbed House (Speaker in case of the Lok Sabha, Chairman in case of Rajya Sabha) may assign the Bill to that anxious Departmentally Related Standing Committee for examination.
The Standing Committee acknowledges the broad objectives and the specific clauses of the Bill mentioned to it and may appeal to public comments on a Bill. The Committee then submits its recommendations in the form of a report to Parliament. In the Second Reading (Consideration), the Bill is analysed exhaustively. Each clause of the Bill is argued and may be approved, altered or rejected. During the Third Reading (Passing), the House votes on the redrafted Bill. The parliamentarians debate it again. Sometimes they can change their minds about a bill. They might vote for it at Second Reading. If it passes in the Third Reading, the bill then goes to the other Chamber, where it goes through the same stages, i.e If the Bill is passed in one House, it is then sent to the other House, where it goes through the second and third readings again. During the second reading, the government, or any MP, may introduce amendments to the Bill, some of which may be based on recommendations of the Standing Committee.
However, the government is not bound to accept the Committee’s recommendations. The bill, after getting passed by the Parliament is sent to the President for his concurrence. When the bill is adopted in the Parliament, it behaves as an Act. When an Act gets the consent of the Parliament, it becomes the law of the land. Preparing a bill is not an easy job. It requires some amount of expertise and tech knowledge. Apart from the knowledge of the concerned matter, legal background is required for preparing a bill. This explains why most of the bills are moved by the government. However, sometimes some MPs also take the trouble of preparing bills and introduced them in the Parliament.
When a bill is introduced by any ministry or government department, it is known the Government Bill. On the contrary, a bill introduced by a private Member of Parliament is called a Private Member’s Bill. Because of party discipline a Government Bill is very likely to be passed by the Lok Sabha, because the ruling party enjoys majority support of the Lok Sabha. The fate of a Private Member’s Bill is uncertain, as the attitude of government towards such a bill is quite uncertain. Again, it is compulsory that a bill has to pass through all the three stages and is why these three stages are known as the first reading, the second reading and the third reading.
Bills Passed this Year-
- The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018:The bill increases the minimum punishment for rape of women from seven to 10 years and introduces death penalty as punishment for committing rape of girls below 12 years.
- The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018:The bill allows confiscation of properties of persons who have absconded the country to avoid facing prosecution for economic offences above Rs. 100 crore.
- The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017:The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) was given a Constitutional status which has the power to examine complaints relating to the inclusion or exclusion of groups within the list of backward classes, and advise the central government.
- The National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017:The bill introduced alongside the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 and seeks to repeal the NCBC Act, 1993.
- The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018:The bill amends the 1989 Act adding that the investigative authority would not require an approval to arrest an accused under the Act and a preliminary inquiry would no longer be necessary prior to registering an FIR.
- The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013:Amending the 1988 Act, the bill covers the offence of giving bribe to a public servant and requires prior sanction to investigate public officials.
- The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 9 Second (Amendment) Bill, 2018:The bill includes real estate allottees as financial creditors in the insolvency resolution process.
- The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018:The amendment lowers the limit for adjudicating commercial disputes from one crore rupees to three lakh rupees and allows state governments to establish commercial courts at the district level, even in territories where high courts have ordinary original civil jurisdiction.
- The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017:It reduces the discretion given to courts while granting specific performance and introduces substituted performance as a remedy to enforce contracts.
- The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017:Amending the 1952 Act, the bill allows the central government to re-issue the notice of acquisition to a property owner to give them an opportunity to be heard.
- The State Banks (Repeal and Amendment) Bill, 2017:The bill repeals two Acts, State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959, and State Bank of Hyderabad Act, 1956, which established five subsidiary banks which were acquired by State Bank of India.
- The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017:The bill allows courts to direct partial payment of fine or compensation to the payee during trial or on filing an appeal in cases of cheque bouncing.
- The National Sports University Bill, 2018:The bill establishes The National Sports University headquartered in Manipur.
- The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018:The amendment allows supersession of the Central Council and will have to be constituted within one year from the date of its supersession.
- The Central Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018:It amends the provisions related to reverse charge mechanism, registration, input tax credit, and pre-deposit amount for appeals.
- The Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018:The bill modifies the provisions related to reverse charge mechanism, place of supply of services, distribution of IGST revenue between the centre and states, and pre-deposit amount for appeals.
- The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018:The bill would amend the provisions of the Act with respect to reverse charge mechanism and the utilisation of input tax credit on UTGST.
- The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill, 2018: The Bill amends the manner in which unutilised amount in the Compensation Fund would be distributed between the centre and states.
- The Appropriation (No. 5) Bill, 2018:Authorises expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India.
- The Appropriation (No. 4) Bill, 2018:Authorises expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India.