Explained: How a select committee works

The House decides on a motion moved by a member who will comprise the select committee.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 11, 2015 1:40:36 am

Reference: Under 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.

Who: The House decides on a motion moved by a member who will comprise the select committee.

How: The quorum needs to be one-third of the total number of members of the committee. If at the time fixed for any meeting, there is no quorum, the committee chairman will either suspend the meeting until there is a quorum or adjourn the meeting. In case of equality of votes on any matter, the chairman (or any other person presiding) will have a second or casting vote. A select committee may appoint a sub-committee to examine any special points connected with the bill. If any doubt arises on any point of procedure or otherwise, the chairman may refer the point to the Rajya Sabha chairman, whose decision is final.

When: As soon as a bill has been referred to it, the select committee is to meet from time to time and 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 three months from the date on which the House adopted the motion for the reference of the bill to the select committee. This deadline can be altered by the House on a motion moved by a member.

Report: The report will be signed on behalf of the committee by the chairman. Any member can record dissent. The report, along with notes of dissent, will be presented to the Rajya Sabha, printed and circulated among all members.

Joint sitting

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 six months have lapsed from the date of receipt of the bill by the other House without the bill being passed, the President may (unless the bill has lapsed by reason of dissolution of Lok Sabha) 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 cannot be a joint sitting of both Houses on a money bill or a constitution amendment bill.

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