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President Addresses Joint Sitting of Parliament

  • 21 Jun 2019
  • 4 min read

President of India recently addressed the joint sitting of both the houses of Parliament. It was the first time he addressed the newly elected 17th Loksabha.

    • All executive power is vested in the President of India. The Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister aids and advises the President who exercises his powers in accordance with such advice.
    • Constitutional Provision: Article 87 of the constitution provides two instances when the President specially addresses both Houses of Parliament.
      • The President of India addresses both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha at the beginning of the first Session after each general election when the reconstituted lower house meets for the first time.
      • The President also addresses both the houses at the beginning of the first session of each year.
    • The President’s speech essentially highlights the government’s policy priorities and plans for the upcoming year. The address provides a broad framework of the government’s agenda and direction.
    • The Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951: Article 87 was amended. In article 87 of the Constitution:
      • In clause (1), for the words "every session", the words "the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year" is substituted. In clause (2), the words "and for the precedence of such discussion over other business of the House" is omitted.
    • Apart from this, the joint sitting of both the houses is also held to resolve the deadlock over the passing of key legislation. Not all bills can be referred to a joint sitting of Parliament. There are two exceptions.
      • Money bill under Article 110.
      • Constitution amendment bill under Article 368.
  • Article 108: Article 108 of the Indian Constitution of India provides for Joint sitting of both the Houses. The joint sitting of the Parliament is called by the President 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 means/cost.
  • Summons to members: The Secretary-General shall issue summons to each member specifying the time and place for a joint sitting.
  • Time of sitting: The duration and adjournment of the joint sitting shall be determined by the Speaker.
  • Quorum: The quorum to constitute a joint sitting shall be one-tenth of the total number of members of the Houses.
  • Procedure: The procedures of joint sessions are subject to modifications and variations as the Speaker may consider necessary or appropriate.
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