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Select Committee for Delhi Services Bill

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August 10, 2023

Why in news?

Recently, Home Minister has said that members had complained about the inclusion of their names in the proposed Select Committee without their signatures.

What is the issue?

  • The Select Committee was proposed by Aam Aadmi Party in the Upper House for Delhi Services Bill.
  • After the Deputy Chairman read out the names to be included in the proposed committee, Home Minister Amit Shah said members had complained that their names were included without their signatures.
  • Home Minister termed this as breach of privilege and said that the matter need to be referred to Privilege Committee.
  • The rule specify that the proposed members consent is required to include in the select committee, but it didn’t specify collecting signatures from the proposed members.

What is a Parliament Committee?

  • India’s Parliament has several types of committees which discharge different functions.
  • Standing committees- There are 12 Standing Committees that are permanent in nature.
  • Members of standing committee is nominated from time to time by the Chairman.
    • Example- Privilege committee
  • Ad hoc Committees- It is a temporary committee, which are set up for a specific purpose, such as examining a particular Bill.
  • They are dissolved once that purpose has been served.
  • The procedure it is to follow is laid down in the Rules of Procedure.
    • Example- Select Committee.

parliamentary-committees

What is the procedure of Select Committee?

  • Rule 125 of the Rajya Sabha Rules and Procedures- Any member may move as an amendment that a bill be referred to a select committee and, if the motion is carried, the bill shall be referred to such a committee.
  • Motion- It is moved to refer a Bill to a Select Committee which can either be moved by the member in-charge of the Bill, or by any other MP.
  • Decision- The House decides on a motion moved by a member who will comprise the select committee.
  • Appointment rules- The members of the Select Committee on a Bill are appointed by the House when the motion that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee is made.
  • No member is appointed to a Select Committee if he is not willing to serve on the Committee.
  • Chairman of the Committee - He is appointed by the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
  • The member or Minister in-charge of the Bill is generally included as a member of the Committee.
  • The actual number of membership of the Select Committee varies from Committee to Committee.
  • In Joint Committee, the proportion of members from the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha is 1:2.
  • Quorum- It needs to be one-third of the total number of members of the committee.
  • Casting vote- In case of equality of votes on any matter, the chairman (or any other person presiding) will have a second or casting vote.
  • Sub-committee- It is appointed by the select committee to examine any special points connected with the bill.
  • Final decision- If there is doubt in any point of procedure or otherwise, the Chairman may refer the point to the Rajya Sabha Chairman, whose decision is final.
  • Deadline- As soon as a bill has been referred to select committee it has to make a report within the time fixed by the Rajya Sabha.
  • If no deadline has been fixed, the report is deemed to be presented before the expiry of 3 months from the date on which the House adopted the motion for the reference of the bill to the select committee.
  • Report- Any member can record dissent.
  • The report is of a recommendatory nature.
  • Deadlock- It occurs in one of the following situation,
    • If a bill passed by one House is rejected by the other, or
    • The Houses have finally disagreed on the amendments to be made, or
    • More than 6 months have lapsed from the date of receipt of the bill by the other House without the bill being passed.
  • Joint sitting- The President may call a joint sitting of the two Houses to resolve the deadlock.
  • The bill is deemed to have been passed by both Houses in the form it is passed by a majority of the total number of members of both Houses present and voting.

There is no provision for joint sitting on a money bill or a constitution amendment bill.

What is the role of Select committee?

  • Examine the Bill- It checks the text of the Bill, clause by clause, in order to see that the Bill reflects clearly the intention behind the measure and the object proposed to be achieved is adequately brought out.
  • Ask for evidence- It may invite memoranda from or take oral evidence of experts or interested persons and organisations.
  • Policy intention- The Committee may also ask the Government officials to explain the policy behind the various provisions of the Bill.
  • Report- After hearing the evidence, the Committee considers the various provisions of the Bill and formulates its conclusions and may amend the bill.
  • On the spot visit- It may also visit organisations and institutions, etc. for on-the-spot study of a matter connected with the Bill.

What is the significance of Parliamentary Committee?

  • Serves as a vibrant link between the Parliament, the Executive and the general public.
  • Vigilance on the part of the legislature over the actions of the Executive.
  • Confers Parliamentary responsibility
  • Provides expertise on the matter as it is considered in-depth in a business-like manner.
  • Ensures accountability and to arrive at a proper conclusion

 

Reference

  1. Indian Express- Select committee row in Delhi Services Bill

 

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