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Thursday, March 04, 2021

Chakshu Roy

The writer is head of outreach PRS Legislative Research.

Explained: The trust vote in Puducherry
Wed, Feb 24, 2021

As Chief Minister V Narayanasamy faces a confidence motion in the House today, contributing to his likely defeat will be the votes of three nominated MLAs who owe allegiance to the BJP. How did Puducherry come to have nominated members in its Assembly? What has the Supreme Court said in this matter earlier?

Over the years, poets, students, and even a village have been booked under the sedition law
Sun, Feb 14, 2021

Governments past and present have used a colonial-era law to charge many ‘seditious’ men and women, most recently during the farmer protests, when a series of cases were filed against journalists and politicians.

Parliament must ask itself whether it rigorously scrutinises constitutionality of bills before it
Wed, Feb 10, 2021

Lack of robust scrutiny processes weakens its image as the highest legislative institution and encourages judicial encroachment on its powers.

Explained: History and precedent of President’s address in Parliament
Sat, Jan 30, 2021

This year's first Parliament session begins Friday with President Ram Nath Kovind's address. How did this tradition begin, what is the protocol followed, and what have the speeches dwelt on over the years?

Explained: When Parliament passed Bills but govt didn’t give effect to those laws
Wed, Jan 27, 2021

Over the years, Parliament has repealed several laws — and there have also been precedents of the government not bringing a law into force for several years after it has been passed.

State legislatures have an abysmal record in terms of number of sittings per year
Fri, Dec 25, 2020

Continuous and close scrutiny by legislatures is central to improving governance in the country. Increasing the number of working days for state legislatures is a first step in increasing their effectiveness.

Explained: A look at how and when Parliament is convened
Wed, Dec 23, 2020

The government has said that parties are in favour of doing away with the Winter Session, and that it would be appropriate to have the Budget Session in January. How and when is Parliament convened?

An Expert Explains: Roles and limitations of Select Committees, parliamentary panels
Tue, Sep 22, 2020

In the current Lok Sabha, 17 Bills have been referred to committees. In the 16th Lok Sabha (2014-19), 25% of the Bills were referred to committees, which was much lower than the 71% and 60% in the 15th and 14th Lok Sabha respectively.

An Expert Explains: What are Question Hour and Zero Hour, and why do they matter?
Sun, Sep 06, 2020

In view of the pandemic and a truncated Monsoon Session, Parliament has said no to Question Hour and curtailed Zero Hour. The Opposition has strongly criticised this. Why these two periods are important.

Explained: As states reduce MLA’ salaries, how much cuts will help amid Covid-19
Sun, Aug 23, 2020

As the Uttar Pradesh Assembly meets Thursday, it will move to ratify a 30 per cent salary cut for its legislators.

Politicians have become adept at using and bypassing the anti-defection law
Thu, Aug 13, 2020

It is time that political parties stopped using the crutches of the anti-defection law to fix problems related to their internal democracy, dissent and discipline.

Probity in RS polls can be ensured by internal change in parties, not stricter law
Fri, Jun 19, 2020

Politics is competitive, and it’s easy to comply with the letter of the law rather than its spirit. And a stricter law will make no difference. Political parties and MLAs will find ways around them, like resigning from the legislatures en masse. A lasting solution to probity in Rajya Sabha elections can only come from within political parties.

Explained: How MPLAD scheme works, and how far its suspension will help Covid-19 fight
Wed, Apr 29, 2020

MPLAD is a central government scheme, under which MPs can recommend development programmes involving spending of Rs 5 crore every year in their respective constituencies.

Moving House Online: How crucial legislative work could continue in crisis
Tue, Apr 21, 2020

Our parliamentary rules do not require MPs to meet physically at the Parliament House. Discussions have taken place on multiple occasions for holding its session outside Delhi. The only requirement for a duly constituted sitting of a house is that it be presided over by the chairman/speaker or any authorised MP.

Explained: Why the President’s Address matters
Fri, Jan 31, 2020

President Kovind will address Parliament today. Days ago, the Kerala Governor expressed an opinion on one paragraph of his Assembly address, prepared by the government. A look at provisions and precedents.

Explained: In SC’s order on Maharashtra floor test, mention of several sordid episodes elsewhere
Wed, Nov 27, 2019

Supreme Court order on Maharashtra floor test: Here is a recap of cases from various states and the circumstances that led to the apex court’s intervention.

Explained: Supreme Court orders Maharashtra floor test tomorrow, what next?
Tue, Nov 26, 2019

The Supreme Court has ordered a floor test in the Maharashtra legislative Assembly on Wednesday. What happens after the date of the floor test is fixed? What will be the roles of the Governor, pro tem Speaker?

Explained: In Maharashtra drama, the key legal provision — anti-defection law
Sun, Nov 24, 2019

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has said that his nephew's action is an act of indiscipline, and attracts the provisions of the anti-defection law. What is this law?

To ensure legislative scrutiny, every bill must be sent to a parliamentary committee
Sat, Jul 27, 2019

A robust lawmaking process requires thorough scrutiny by Parliament. Such scrutiny should not be impacted by either the strength of numbers in Parliament or political agreement on issues.

Explained: The limits of anti-defection
Thu, Jul 25, 2019

The prolonged political crisis in Karnataka has demonstrated the ways in which the nearly 35-year-old anti-defection law can be used and abused. Here’s how the law was enacted, and how it has performed.

Parliament voting: Ayes vs noes, and road from manual to electronic recording
Tue, Jun 25, 2019

Voice voting is the preferred method of decision making by Indian Parliament. MPs in favour of a decision call out “Ayes” and those opposed say “Noes”.

Speakers must rise above party loyalties, with Constitution as their guiding light
Wed, Jun 19, 2019

With no security in the continuity of office, the Speaker is dependent on his or her political party for reelection. This makes the Speaker susceptible to pulls and pressures from her/his political party in the conduct of the proceedings of the Lok Sabha.

History headline: A House for MPs 
Sun, Jun 09, 2019

For almost a century, Parliament has been an observer of the people who have shaped our country. But it was not part of the original plan for the Capital city

A referee less partisan
Fri, Feb 15, 2019

Blame for politicisation of the Speaker’s office lies with the anti-defection law.

Parliamentary disruption has become the norm, this Lok Sabha mirrors the decline
Thu, Jan 10, 2019

In the last decade, MPs have raised slogans, snatched papers from ministers and used pepper spray in the House.

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