Moneycontrol PRO
you are here: HomeNewsPolitics

Explained | What is a Private Member’s Bill? How does it differ from government Bills?

No Private Member’s Bill, introduced on Fridays, has been passed by the Parliament since 1970. Till date,the Parliament has passed 14 such Bills, six of them in 1956

December 03, 2021 / 01:34 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

The revised lists of business for both the Houses of Parliament have Private Members’ Legislative Business scheduled for December 3, fifth day of the ongoing Winter Session.

Among over 275 Private Member's Bills for introduction in Lok Sabha, include The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Bill, 2019 by Varun Gandhi, The Gutka and Pan Masala (Prohibition) Bill, 2020 by Kirit Solanki and The Right to Menstrual Hygiene and Paid Leave Bill, 2019 by S Jothimani.

In Rajya Sabha, the nearly 36 Private Members' Bills listed for introduction include The Population Control Bill, 2021 by Harnath Singh Yadav, The Universal Healthcare Bill, 2021 by Fauzia Khan and The Uniform Civil
Code in India Bill,2020 by Kirodi Lal Meena, among others

READ: Winter Session | Bob Dylan to Bashir Badr: MPs speak on COVID-19 till past midnight in marathon debate in Lok Sabha 

MoneyControl explains what a Private Member’s Bill is and how it differs from normal government Bills introduced in the Parliament.

What is a Private Member’s Bill and how is it different from government Bills?

A member of parliament (MP) who is not a minister is a private member. The Bills introduced by private members are referred to as Private Member’s Bills. The Bills introduced by ministers are called government Bills. The government bills have the backing of the government and reflect its legislative agenda. Whether the Private Bill has to be admitted or not is decided by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha or Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.

Also, read: Parliament winter session: Shashi Tharoor clarifies after "attractive place to work" selfie with women MPs

What is the procedure?

The Private Member’s Bills are either drafted by the member of parliament (MP) or his staff. The MP who wants to move a Private Member’s Bill has to give at least a month’s notice, for the House Secretariat to examine it for compliance with constitutional provisions and rules on legislation. While a government Bill can be introduced and discussed on any day, a private member’s bill is only introduced and discussed on Fridays.

Follow updates on Winter Session of Parliament in our LIVE BLOG

In case of multiple Bills, a ballot system is used to decide the sequence of bills for introduction.The Parliamentary Committee on Private Member's Bills and Resolutions goes through all such Bills and classifies them based on their urgency and importance.

Has any Private Member’s Bill ever become a law?

No Private Member’s Bill has been passed by the Parliament since 1970, according to PRS Legislative Research. So far, the Parliament has passed 14 such Bills, six of them in 1956. The 16th Lok Sabha (2014-19) witnessed the highest number of Private Member Bills introduced (999) since 2000. As many as 142 members have introduced Bills in the 16th Lok Sabha, of which 34 members have introduced 10 or more Bills.

Also, read: Winter Session: Why 12 Opposition MPs were suspended and what the rules say

In comparison, 84 members introduced Bills in the 15th Lok Sabha, of which 11 members introduced 10 or more Bills. Though nearly 1,000 Bills were introduced in the 16th Lok Sabha, less than 10 were taken up for discussion, for a total of 50 hours.

Gulam Jeelani
Gulam Jeelani is a journalist with over 12 years of reporting experience. Based in New Delhi, he covers politics and governance for Moneycontrol.