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Indian Polity

Winter Session 2021

  • 24 Dec 2021
  • 7 min read

For Prelims:Termination of Sitting of Parliament, Adjournment, Adjournment sine die, Prorogation and Dissolution.

For Mains: Important legislations passed in the winter session of Parliament.

Why in News

Recently, the Winter Session of Parliament has been adjourned sine die (terminating a sitting of Parliament without naming a day for reassembly). The session witnessed passing of some of the important legislations.

Key Points

  • Termination of Sitting of Parliament: The sitting of the Parliament in both the Houses can be terminated only by:
    • Adjournment,
    • Adjournment sine die,
    • Prorogation
    • Dissolution (not applicable for Rajya Sabha).
  • Adjournment: An adjournment results in the suspension of work in a sitting for a specified time, which may be hours, days or weeks.
    • In this case, the time of reassembly is specified as an adjournment only terminates a sitting and not a session of the House.
    • The power of adjournment lies with the presiding officer of the House.
  • Adjournment sine die: Adjournment sine die means terminating a sitting of Parliament for an indefinite period, that is, when the House is adjourned without naming a day for reassembly, it is called adjournment sine die.
    • The power of adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer of the House.
    • However, the presiding officer of a House can call a sitting of the House before the date or time to which it has been adjourned or at any time after the House has been adjourned sine die.
  • Prorogation: The term prorogation means the termination of a session of the House by an order made by the President under Article 85(2)(a) of the Constitution.
    • The prorogation terminates both the sitting and session of the House and is usually done within a few days after the House is adjourned sine die by the presiding officer.
    • The President issues a notification for the prorogation of the session.
    • However, the president can also prorogue the House while in session.
    • It must be noted that all pending notices except those for introducing bills lapse.
    • The period between the prorogation of a House and its reassembly in a new session is called a recess.
  • Dissolution: Whenever a dissolution happens, it ends the very life of the existing House and a new House is constituted after the General Elections.
    • However, only the Lok Sabha is subject to dissolution as the Rajya Sabha, being a permanent House, is not subject to dissolution.

Some of the Important Bills Passed by Houses of Parliament

  • The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021: In view of protests by the farmers, the bill was introduced and passed to repeal the three farm laws namely:
    • Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020
    • Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
    • Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020
  • The Dam Safety Bill, 2021: It provides for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of the specified dam for prevention of dam failure related disasters.
    • It also seeks to provide for institutional mechanisms to ensure their safe functioning and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulations) Bill, 2021: It provides for regulation and supervision of the assisted reproductive technology clinics and the assisted reproductive technology banks, prevention of misuse, safe and ethical practice of assisted reproductive technology services.
    • It also envisaged establishment of the National Board, the State Boards and the National Registry.
  • The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2021: It provides for regulation of surrogacy services in the country.
    • It also prohibits the potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and to protect the rights of children born through surrogacy.
  • The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It provides clarity that the institutes established as well as any other similar institute to be established under the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Act shall be institutes of national importance.
    • It also established a central body, to be called the Council to ensure coordinated development of pharmaceutical education and research and maintenance of standards, etc.
  • The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021: It seeks to bring clarity on when Supreme Court and High Court judges are entitled to an additional quantum of pension or family pension on attaining a certain age.
  • The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021: The bill would replace an ordinance promulgated earlier this year (2021) to correct a drafting error in section 27A of the Act.
  • The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It provides for extension of tenure of Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation by up to one year at a time in public interest, till the completion of five years in total including the period mentioned in the initial appointment.
  • The Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It provides for extension of tenure of Director of the Directorate of Enforcement by up to one year at a time in public interest, till the completion of five years in total including the period mentioned in the initial appointment.
  • The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021: It provides linking of electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem to curb the menace of multiple enrolment of the same person in different places.

Source: PIB

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