Private Member’s Bill is a Bill introduced by a member who is not part of the government. Constitutionally India is a democratic country which follows a parliamentary system of government. A clear separation of power has been made between three organs of the government by the Constitution i.e. executive, legislative and judiciary. The work of the Legislature is to make laws, the Executive will implement the laws made by the Parliament and Judiciary will interpret the laws made by the legislature and review the actions of the Executive.
For the purpose of making law, a Bill is introduced by either any minister or any private individual member of Parliament. Bill which is introduced by any minister is called a government Bill and Bill introduced by any person other than a minister is called a private member’s bill.
What is Private Member’s Bill?
A Bill in Parliament is generally introduced by a minister and is approved by the cabinet (executive) before being introduced. But sometimes government ignores any issues or does not gives importance to such issues. Which may be any vital or serious issue in the opinion of any legislator (MP) who is not part of the executive or cabinet. In that case, a Bill can be introduced before Parliament to bring the Governments attention on that matter by any Member of Parliament who is not part of the government. Such Bills are called Private Member’s Bill.
If a Bill is introduced by any minister such a Bill is called Government Bill not a private Bill because such a minister is part of the government (cabinet). The number of total cabinet members is 15% of the total number of the lower house, thus if any bill is introduced by a member from that 15% will be called as Government but if any member other than that 15% introduced that bills will be called as Private Member’s Bill. A Private Member Bill can be introduced by a member belonging to any political party either government supporting or opposing or an independent candidate.
How Private Member’s Bill is introduced?
A Private Member’s Bill is drafted by that MP in his office, such kind Bill is introduced only after giving a prior notice of one month and along with a statement where he mentation the object and reason of that Bill, he also mentions his rationale on that matter.
Before 1977, Private Member’s Bill could be introduced up to three in a week, but it lead to polling up of Bills that were introduced but never discussed, then chairman K.R.Narayanan, therefore, capped the number of private member’s bill into three per session.
A ballot system in the House decides the final order of introduction of that Private Member’s Bill. Once a Private Member’s Bill is listed for the introduction in the House, the speaker of Lok Sabha or the Chairmen of the Rajya Sabha calls that individual Member to introduce in the House. Since the independence of India only 14 private bills become law.
Difference between Private Member’s Bill and Government Bill:
In terms of treatment and enforceability, there is no difference between the private member bill and the government bill. A Private Member’s Bill can also be dealing with any issue, it may be Constitutional Amendment or Money Bills, the main purpose of Private Member’s Bill is to bring the attention of the government on a matter which is ignored by the government.
Between the government bill and the private member’s bill, there may be differences in terms of the process which are followed outside of the Parliament. Before introducing a government bill it is approved by the cabinet, this is not done in case of Private Member’s Bill.
A government bill can be introduced and discussed in any days but a private member bill can only be introduced and discussed on Friday.
Why Private Member Bill is important:
Private Member’s Bill empowers an individual MP to bring the government’s attention to any issue which is willingly or unwillingly avoided by the ruling party (government). Any individual Member of Parliament from any political party whether government supporting or opposing party can introduce a Private Bill in the Parliament.
Private Member’s Bill which become law in India:
In India, since the independence of the country total 328 private bill was introduced, among them only 14 become law, take a look on these 14 Private Member’s Bill which become law.
1. The Muslim Waksfs Bill, 1952: Introduced by Syed Mohammad Ahmed Kasmi in the Lok Sabha and passed on 1954
2. The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment Bill), 1954: Introduced by Raghunath Singh in Lok Sabha and passed in 1956.
3. The Indian Registration (Amendment) Bill, 1955: Introduced by S.C Samanta in the Lok Sabha and passed in 1956.
4. The Proceeding of Legislature (Protection of Publication) Bill, 1956: Introduced by Feroze Gandhi in the Lok Sabha and was passed in 1956.
5. The Women’s and Children’s Institutions (Licensing) Bill, 1954: Introduced by Rajmata Kamlendu Mati Shah in Lok Sabha and passed in 1956.
6. The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) Bill: Introduced by Raghubir Singh in Rajya Sabha and passed in 1958.
7. The Hindu Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 1956: Introduced by Seeta Pramanand in the Rajya Sabha and passed in 1956.
8. The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 1957: Introduced by Subhadra Joshi in the Lok Sabha and passed in 1960.
9. The Orphanages and Other Charitable Homes (Supervision and Control) Bill, 1960: Introduced by Kailash Bihari Lall in the Rajya Sabha and passed in 1960.
10. The Marine Insurance Bill, 1959: Introduced by M.P. Bhargava in the Rajya Sabha and passed in 1963.
11. The Hindu Marriage Amendment Bill, 1962: Introduced by Siwan Chand Sharma in Lok Sabha and passed in 1964.
12. The Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 1964: introduced by Raghunath Shing in the Lok Sabha and passed on 1964.
13. Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 1967: Introduced by Diwan Chaman Lall in Rajya Sabha and passed in 1969.
14. The Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Bill, 1968: Introduced by Anand Narian in Lok Sabha and passed in 1970.
Source: Data collected from PRS Legislative Research Center.