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Question #

The Indian Constitution has provisions for holding joint session of the two houses of the Parliament. Enumerate the occasions when this would normally happen and also the occasions when it cannot, with reasons thereof.

ChatGPT Answer #

The Indian Constitution allows for a joint session of the two houses of Parliament, i.e., the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People), under specific circumstances. Here are the occasions when a joint session is called:

1. Passage of Ordinary Legislation: If any legislation, except a money bill, is rejected by one house and passed by the other, it is considered a disagreement. In such cases, the President of India may summon a joint session for the purpose of resolving the disagreement and passing the bill.

2. Constitutional Amendment: A constitutional amendment bill requires a special majority, i.e., a majority of the total membership of each house as well as a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting. If an amendment bill does not meet this criterion but is passed by either house, a joint session can be summoned to approve it.

3. Removal of Vice President or Deputy Chairman: If a resolution for the removal of the Vice President or the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha has been passed by one house but rejected by the other, a joint session can be called to settle the matter.

4. Address by the President: The President of India may address a joint sitting of both houses at the commencement of the first session after each general election. Additionally, the President may address a joint session at any time he/she chooses.

However, there are certain occasions when a joint session cannot be called, including:

1. Money Bills: A money bill, which deals exclusively with matters related to taxation, government expenditure, or borrowing, cannot be introduced in the Rajya Sabha. As a result, the provision for a joint session does not apply to money bills, and the Lok Sabha's decision is final in such cases.

2. Dissolution of Lok Sabha: If the Lok Sabha is dissolved before a joint sitting could be held to resolve a disagreement regarding a non-money bill, the bill lapses. A new bill would need to be introduced and passed again in both houses.

3. Constitutional Amendment Rejection: If a constitutional amendment bill is rejected by either house, it cannot be considered for a joint session. The bill remains unsuccessful unless it is re-introduced and passed separately by both houses with the required majority.

In summary, the Indian Constitution allows for a joint session of Parliament on occasions such as disagreements on ordinary legislation, constitutional amendments, or removal of high-ranking officials. Certain scenarios like money bills, dissolution of Lok Sabha, or rejection of constitutional amendments prevent the summoning of a joint session.

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