Private Members’ Bill

The concept of Private Members’ Bill is central to a deliberative democracy because it envisages that the political decisions should be the product of fair and reasonable discussion and debate among citizens.

What is a Private Members’ Bill?

Before moving to the discussion on the Private Members’ Bill, firstly know that who is a Private Member?

A Member of Parliament but not designated as a minister or we can say without any portfolio, is regarded as a ‘Private member’. Therefore, when this private member introduced bills in the parliament is referred to as “Private Members’ Bill”.

Important facts related to the private bill

  • The admissibility of a private members’ bill is decided by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) or the Speaker of the Lok Sabha (House of the People).
  • The Private Members’ Bill can only be introduced and discussed on Friday during the session of the Parliament.
  • The selection of Bill or Bills for discussion is done through a ballot.

Procedure for introduction of the private members’ bill

Before the Bill can be listed for introduction, the Member must give at least a month’s notice for the House Secretariat to examine it for compliance with constitutional provisions and rules on legislation.

Is there any private members’ bill has become law?

According to the PRS Legislative, no private members’ bill has been passed by Parliament since 1970. To date, Parliament has passed 14 such bills, six of them in 1956.

In the 14th Lok Sabha, of the over 300 private members’ bills introduced, roughly four per cent were discussed, the remaining 96 per cent lapsed without a single dialogue.

Recent example of private members’ bill

In 2019, Lok Sabha MP, Supriya Sule introduced a bill, i.e. Right to Disconnect Bill. This bill has global importance.

Features of the Right to Disconnect Bill

  • This bill empowers the employee with the right to not respond to employers’ calls, texts or emails after office hours.
  • The aims of this bill is to reduce work-related stress and strive for a better work-life balance.
  • This bill applies to companies with more than 10 employees.
  • Such companies are required to set up an Employee Welfare Committee to ensure compliance.
  • The bill stipulates that no disciplinary action can be taken against you if you choose to not respond to your employer after your stipulated work hours.

Countries that have Right to disconnect

  • France has already provided Right to disconnect since 2017 in companies with more than 50 employees with an aim to re-build the boundary between professional and personal life.
  • Even Spain has a similar law which provides Right to Disconnect without any minimum employee criterion.
  • German automobile maker Daimler had taken this bold step of introducing software that automatically deletes any emails you get while on vacation, back in 2014.

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