Over 700 bills by private members pending in Lok Sabha

The bills were tabled as recently as August this year during the monsoon session of Parliament.

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NEW DELHI:  More than 700 private member bills are pending in the Lok Sabha to date. Many of these bills were introduced in June 2019 soon after the present Lok Sabha was formed. The bills were tabled as recently as August this year during the monsoon session of Parliament.

The winter session of parliament is all set to start on December 4 and will continue till December 22 with a strong possibility of both Houses witnessing uproar over the controversy over cash-for-query involving TMC leader Mahua Moitra and other issues.

Private member bills are the measures introduced by MPs in their personal capacity. The aim of bringing a private bill is to highlight new laws that an MP thinks should be introduced or changes they believe are necessary in the existing statutes.

According to a Lok Sabha bulletin issued on Friday, as many as 713 such bills are pending in the Lok Sabha. To introduce a private member’s bill during a session, a private member may provide a maximum of three notices. Such a bill is intended to alert the government to problems with the current legal system that certain MPs believe call for legislative action.

These bills generally deal with issues like bringing a Uniform Civil Code, gender equality, climate change, agriculture, amendment to the existing criminal and electoral laws and amending constitutional provisions and others. As per parliamentary rules, the second half of every Friday during the session is reserved for the members to introduce or discuss private member bills or resolutions in both Houses.

According to the rules, soon after a debate on a private member bill is over, the minister concerned has to respond or request the member to withdraw it. Of the 300 or so private members’ bills introduced in the 14th Lok Sabha, barely 4% were discussed; 96% lapsed without even a single debate in the House. To date, Parliament has passed a total of 14 private members’ bills.


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