The union government recently released a tentative list of agenda of Special Session of the Parliament, which is scheduled to be held from 18 to 22 September 2023. In this article we will discuss, what is the session of the parliament? Constitutional provisions of Parliament Session, Agenda of this special session, dates, and history of special sessions in India.
From this session, proceedings of parliaments expected to shift to new parliament building inaugurated on May 28.
What is the Session of the parliament?
When the Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) meet for discussing various agendas and approving bills, motions with a scheduled meeting, it is called session.
What does the Constitution say about Parliamentary Sessions?
Article 85(1) states that “The President shall from time to time summon each House of Parliament to meet at such time and place as he/she thinks fit”
There is no fixed calendar of sitting in India’s Parliamentary sessions. However, as per constitution there should not be gap of six months between two parliamentary sessions.
The Parliament holds 3 sessions in a year:
Budget session (February-May)
Monsoon Session (July-August)
Winter Session (November-December)
You can read complete details of Constitution of India, Parts, Schedules & Articles on the link: Constitution of India
Who decides Date and Timings of the Session?
As discussed above, as per article 85(1) of the constitution President has power to summon the session of the parliament, but it’s date and duration is determined by Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
Committee’s decision is been informed to President, who then summons Members of Parliament to meet for the session.
What is a Special Session of the Parliament?
The Constitution does not use the term “special session”.
This term every so often refers to sessions the government has convened for specific occasions, for instance, either emergency or commemorating parliamentary or national milestones.
Article 352 of the Constitution does refer to a “special sitting of the House” which deals with proclamation of emergency.
The President of India, who holds the power to summons a regular Parliamentary session can summon this session also under same Article 85(1) of the Constitution.
The procedural devices like question hour or zero hour would not be available to MPs during this session.
History of Special Session of the Parliament
The special sessions can be divided into two parts
- Special Sessions with debates or discussions, and
- Midnight Special Sessions without any debates.
These special sessions are called with specific agenda, either to celebrate a historical legacy like the Indian freedom struggle and Indian Independence or to pass a bill.
It holds a special place in the parliamentary calendar and history of democratic India.
Below is the table depicting special sessions of the parliament since independence:
Special sitting in Lok Sabha
Date: May 13, 2012, Sunday
Occasion: 60th anniversary of the first sitting of the Indian Parliament.
Special sitting in Rajya Sabha
Date: In 1977 and 1991
Occasion: when the Lok Sabha was under dissolution to decide on the President’s Rule.
2023 special session
Discuss & debate on Journey of Indian Parliament since independence of last 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha’s first meeting on 9th December 1946.
Agenda of Special Session of the Parliament 2023
On completion of 75 years of independence, a discussion on the subject “Parliamentary Journey of 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha – Achievements, Experiences, Memories and Learnings” will be held in both Houses on September 18, 2023.
Presently, 37 Bills are pending in Parliament, of which five are listed for consideration and passing in this session, details of which are mentioned below:
Though it is not mentioned in tentative agenda of Special Session of the Parliament, ‘One Nation, One Election’ bill and resolution to rename India as Bharat are in news since announcement of this session.
All Party Meet Before Special Session:
On September 17, the union government has called an all-party meeting, a day before the special session of Parliament begins.
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