The Monsoon Session of Parliament which started on 19 July was adjourned sine die today two days before it was scheduled to end on 13 August. Simply saying, if a meeting ends with no scheduled day to get back together, it's adjourned sine die. However, there are other terms that are used to determine whether the Houses are in action or not like summoning, adjournment, adjournment sine die, prorogation and dissolution.
During a session, both the Houses meet almost daily barring holidays to transact business be it to discuss a matter of public matters, frame laws, amend laws, place Standing Committee reports and pass financial bills among others. The Houses are in session thrice a year: Budget Session (February to May); Monsoon Session (July to September); and Winter Session (November to December).
During a session of Parliament, usually, there are two sittings: morning sitting from 11 am to 1 pm and post-lunch sitting from 2 pm to 6 pm. The sitting of the Parliament in both the Houses can be terminated only by adjournment, adjournment sine die, prorogation and dissolution (not applicable for Rajya Sabha).
Technically, a session of the Parliament means the period between the first sitting of a House and its prorogation or dissolution. The period between the prorogation of a House and its reassembly in a new session is called a recess.
Adjournment sine die: Adjournment sine die means terminating a sitting of Parliament for an indefinite period, that is, when the House is adjourned without naming a day for reassembly, it is called adjournment sine die. The power of adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer of the House.
However, the presiding officer of a House can call a sitting of the House before the date or time to which it has been adjourned or at any time after the House has been adjourned sine die.
Adjournment: An adjournment results in the suspension of work in a sitting for a specified time, which may be hours, days or weeks. In this case, the time of reassembly is specified as an adjournment only terminates a sitting and not a session of the House. The power of adjournment lies with the presiding officer of the House.
Prorogation: The term prorogation means the termination of a session of the House by an order made by the President under Article 85(2)(a) of the Constitution. The prorogation terminates both the sitting and session of the House and is usually done within a few days after the House is adjourned sine die by the presiding officer. The President issues a notification for the prorogation of the session. However, the president can also prorogue the House while in session.
It must be noted that all pending notices except those for introducing bills lapse.
Dissolution: Whenever a dissolution happens, it ends the very life of the existing House and a new House is constituted after the General Elections.
However, only the Lok Sabha is subject to dissolution as the Rajya Sabha, being a permanent House, is not subject to dissolution. The dissolution of the Lok Sabha may take place in two ways:
- Automatic dissolution: On the expiry of its tenure: five years or the terms as extended during a national emergency.
- Order of President: If the President is authorised by the Council of Ministers, he or she can dissolve Lok Sabha, even before the end of the term. The president may also dissolve Lok Sabha if the Council of Ministers loses confidence and no party is able to form the government. Once the Lok Sabha is dissolved before the completion of its normal tenure, the dissolution is irrevocable.
When the Lok Sabha is dissolved, all business including bills, motions, resolutions, notices and petitions that are pending before it or its committees lapse.
Summoning: Summoning is the process of calling all members of the Parliament to meet. It is the duty of the President of India to summon each House of Parliament from time to time. The maximum gap between two sessions of Parliament cannot be more than six months. The Parliament should meet at least twice a year.