Adjournment v/s Prorogation

What is Sessions of Parliament Lok Sabha - Rajya Sabha: Adjournment, Prorogation, Dissolution, How prorogation differ from dissolution?

Adjournment and prorogation both comes under the umbrella of termination of parliamentary proceedings followed by dissolution of the house. An adjournment is the termination the sitting of the house of the Parliament which meets again at the time decided. Whereas, prorogation is the termination of the session itself. It can be only done by the president under article 85(2) of the Indian constitution.

Prorogation puts an end to a session, and the house ceases to function for a definite period of time. The president has the power to prorogue a session but he acts on the aid and advice of the prime minister and council of ministers as given under art74(1) of the constitution.. It is one of the two ways in which president can terminate the houses, second being the dissolution of Lok Sabha.  According to the article 107(3), bill pending in Parliament shall not lapse by reason of the prorogation of the Houses.

A house can be adjourned for the time it pleases.  Unlike dissolution or prorogation it is the act of the house itself. There are other parliamentary proceedings associated to it;

1.) “Adjournment of Debate–Adjournment on a motion adopted by the House, of the debate on a Motion/Resolution/Bill on which the House is then engaged until a future day or sine die as specified in the motion.[i]

2.) “Adjournment of the sitting of the House– Termination of the sitting of the House which meets again at the time appointed for the next sitting.[ii]

3.) “Adjournment sine die-Termination of a sitting of the House without any definite date being fixed for the next sitting.[iii]

As it can be understood that adjournment is the act of house which means there is no regulation. However an adjournment does not affect the incomplete work as it can be picked again when house is in session but if an adjournment sine din  is passed then there is an ambiguity over the next sitting.

However in case of prorogation it terminates the session for a definite time but not to its existence and the same house meets again after prorogation.

So if a comparison is to be drawn between adjournment and prorogation, prorogation should be preferred, the main reason being that it is for a specific period of time, it leaves no room for ambiguity over the next session. However it has its own drawbacks also, unlike in an adjournment it is an act of president on the advice of prime minister which means it might not be accepted by the majority in the house.

It allows the government to re promulgate any ordinance which needs amendment, so the ordinance doesn’t lapse. Last year in the land acquisition bill, Rajya Sabha was prorogued to keep the ordinance alive.

Therefore, prorogation ensures more stringency and effectiveness over a bill in the house than the adjournment in case of any important bill being discussed.



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