Saturday, March 17

Sessions of Parliament: Adjournment, Prorogation, Dissolution etc.

From time to time, the sessions of the parliament are called upon by president. According to constitution, the maximum gap between two sessions cannot be more than six months. Thus, in each year, there must be two sessions of parliament. However, there are usually three sessions viz. Budget session (between February to May), Monsoon Session (between July to September) and Winter Session (Between November to December).


Adjournment terminates the sitting of the House which meets again at the time appointed for the next sitting. The postponement may be for a specified time such as hours, days or weeks. If the meeting is terminated without any definite time/ date fixed for next meeting, it is called Adjournment sine die.


Prorogation is end of a session. A prorogation puts an end to a session. The time between the Prorogation and reassembly is called Recess. Prorogation is end of session and not the dissolution of the house {in case of Lok Sabha, as Rajya Sabha does not dissolve}.


Rajya Sabha is a permanent house so there is no dissolution of Rajya Sabha, though term of Rajya Sabha members has been fixed for 6 years. The Lok Sabha may dissolve at the end of its five year term or by an order of President. The five year term can be extended during national emergency for another one year at a time by making a law. However, such extension cannot continue beyond a period of six months after the emergency has ceased to operate.

Generally, last session of the existing Lok Sabha before dissolution is called Lame Duck session. .

Comparison between Adjournment, Prorogation and Dissolution
  • While adjournment, Prorogation and Dissolution are applicable to Lok Sabha; the term Dissolution is not applicable to Rajya Sabha because that is a permanent house.
  • While adjournment terminates a sitting, prorogation terminates a session. Dissolution terminates the Lok Sabha itself and needs fresh elections.
  • While adjournment is done by presiding officers {speaker / deputy speaker in Lok Sabha and Chairman / Deputy chairman in Rajya Sabha); prorogation is done by President. Dissolution of Lok Sabha is also done by president.
  • There is no impact on bills due to adjournment and prorogation. All business including bills, motions, resolutions, notices, petitions, and so on pending before Lok Sabha get lapsed on its dissolution.
President’s Address

President’s address is the speech delivered by the President of India to both Houses of Parliament assembled together at the commencement of the first session after each general election to Lok Sabha and at the commencement of the first session of each year.


Quorum refers to the minimum number of the members required to be present for conducting a meeting of the house. Constitution has fixed one-tenth strength as quorum for both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Thus, to conduct a sitting of Lok Sabha, there should be at least 55 members present while to conduct a sitting of Rajya Sabha, there should be at least 25 members present.

Participation of Ministers

A minister can participate in the proceedings of any house of the parliament irrespective of his own house in which he holds membership. However, he can vote only in the house in which he holds membership.

Participation by Attorney General

Attorney-General of India has right to right to speak in and take part in the proceedings of, either House, any joint sitting of the Houses, and any committee of Parliament of which he may be named a member. However, he is not entitled to vote in any of them.

Language in Parliament

As per constitution, the languages to conduct the business of parliament are Hindi or English. However, a member can address the house in his own language / mother tongue with permission from presiding officer. There are arrangements for simultaneous translations. The constitution had provided that the English as language of the house would discontinue by 1965, but the Official Languages Act 1963 allowed it to be used along with Hindi as language of parliamentary business.

Leader of the House (Lok Sabha)

The Prime Minister, if he is a Member of the House, or a Minister who is a member of the House and is nominated by the Prime Minister to function as the Leader of the House.

Leader of the Council

The Prime Minister, if he is a Member of the Council or a Minister who is a Member of the Council and is nominated by the Prime Minister to function as the Leader of the Council.

Leader of Opposition

A Member of the House who is for the time being the Leader in that House of the party in opposition to the Government having the greatest numerical strength. When there are two or more parties in opposition to the Government, having the same numerical strength, the Speaker shall, having regard to the status of parties recognize any one of the leaders of such parties as the Leader of the Opposition and such recognition shall be final and conclusive.

Contempt of House

Contempt of house means disobedience to the authority of the house by acts like interrupting the proceedings of the house, refusal by a witness to make an oath, giving false evidence, presenting false, forged or fabricated documents to either House or its Committee.

Crossing the Floor

Crossing the floor is the passing between the Member in possession of the House and the Chair. To cross the floor is a breach of Parliamentary etiquette.


Bulletin is published in two parts, Part I containing a brief record of the proceedings of the House at each of its sittings; and Part II containing information on any matter relating to or connected with the Business of the House or Committees or other matter which in the opinion of the Speaker may be included therein.


Deletion of words, phrases or expressions from the proceedings or records of the House by an order of the Speaker or from the proceedings or records of a Committee by an order of the Chairman of the Committee or the Speaker as being defamatory or indecent or unparliamentary or undignified.

Maiden Speech

Maiden Speech is the first speech of a member elected for the first time in a new House. Such a member is, as a matter of courtesy, called upon by the Speaker to make his maiden speech in preference to others rising to speak at the same time.  This privilege is, however, not extended by the Chair unless claimed within the term of the House to which the member was first returned.

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