Parliament likely to be prorogued today: What does this mean and how is it different from adjourning the House

The Winter Session of Parliament, which saw legislative agenda being carried out amid noisy protests, will likely end on Wednesday — a day before schedule

FP Staff December 22, 2021 11:51:26 IST
Parliament likely to be prorogued today: What does this mean and how is it different from adjourning the House

An image of India's Parliament building in New Delhi. AFP

The Winter Session of Parliament is likely to conclude today, 22 December, a day before the schedule. The session had commenced on 29 November and was scheduled to end on 23 December.

The session saw legislative agenda being carried out amid a storm of protests and chaos.

The Winter Session saw the repeal of three contentious farm laws in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the passing of the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill and introduction and sending of a bill to increase the age of marriage of girls from 18 to 21 years to a Parliamentary Standing Committee.

Since the start of the session, Parliament has witnessed constant disruption and adjournment as Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu suspended 12 MPs for their unruly behaviour during the monsoon session. Since then, the suspended MPs have been staging a protest near the Gandhi statue at the Parliament premise every day.

On Tuesday, TMC’s Derek O’Brien was also suspended from Rajya Sabha for allegedly throwing the rule book at the Chair.

With this, it is expected that the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will prorogue both the Houses — Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

But, what does prorogue mean and what does it entail?

Prorogation

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. Prorogation terminates both the sitting and session of the House.

Prorogation 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.

This means that bills that have not been passed by both the Houses lapse, orders by a House lapse, any warrant by the House committing a person to imprisonment for contempt of Parliament lapses, all notices on the notice paper are extinguished, committees established by sessional orders cease to exist and their inquiries are ended, and the Houses are unable to sit and transact business.

One must note that prorogation is different from adjourning the House or Houses.

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.

If the meeting is terminated without any definite time/date fixed for the next meeting, it is called Adjournment sine die.

With inputs from agencies

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