“Explore the role and challenges of Private Members’ Bills in Indian Parliament. Learn how these proposals bring attention to unaddressed issues and initiate crucial discussions, despite facing significant obstacles.”

Private Members’ Bill by Jasbir Singh.
Private Members’ Bill by Jasbir Singh.

Introduction of the Bill on Curbing Wasteful Expenditure

Amidst the intense discussions of the ongoing Parliament Monsoon Session, a seemingly unconventional topic emerged for debate in the Lok Sabha — a bill aimed at curbing extravagant expenses during weddings.

Aims and Content of the Bill

The Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure on Special Occasions Bill, 2020, was presented by Jasbir Singh Gill, seeking to limit various aspects of wedding celebrations. The bill proposed restrictions on guest count, dishes served, and gift expenditures, intending to combat the culture of lavish weddings.

Importance of Private Members’ Bills

Private Members’ Bills are legislative proposals introduced by non-minister members of the House. They serve to highlight issues often overlooked in government bills. These bills are discussed during a specific time allocated for private members’ business, aiming to address gaps in the existing legal framework.

Challenges and Impact

Passing private members’ bills is notoriously challenging. Only a small fraction of them become laws. For instance, in the last 10 years, 459 Private Members’ Bills were introduced in the Rajya Sabha compared to 78 Government Bills. These bills, despite their infrequent success, contribute significantly to legislative discussions.

Lack of Success and Potential

Many of these draft laws face hurdles on their path to becoming acts. One notable example is the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014. While introduced as a Private Members’ Bill by MP Tiruchi Siva, it was eventually overshadowed by a government Bill with similar content.

Process of Decision and Obstacles

Deciding which private members’ bills to address involves the Speaker’s or Chairman’s decision, depending on the House. These bills are classified based on urgency and importance, with the House determining their relative precedence.

MPs’ Agenda and Legacy

Private Members’ Bills often reflect MPs’ agendas and contentious topics. While these bills may not always succeed, they contribute to broader discussions on societal issues and changes needed.

Historical Impact of Private Members’ Bills

Some notable Private Members’ Bills that became Acts include the Muslim Wakf Bill, 1952, and the Hindu Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 1963. These legislations aimed to reform and address various social and legal concerns.

In conclusion, Private Members’ Bills play a vital role in addressing unattended issues and initiating discussions on diverse topics in the Parliament, although their journey from proposal to law is often fraught with challenges.

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