Pre-Introduction phase of the Bill Or Drafting a Bill

According to the Rules of Business, 1973 the contents of the proposed legislation, in case of official bill, shall be determined by the Division concerned. It shall also be responsible for consulting other Divisions including Finance Division. After it is approved by the Cabinet, in accordance with rule 16, it shall be sent to the Ministry of Law and Justice to draft the Bill. Ministry of Law and Justice along with drafting the Bill shall also advice the concerned Division as to the competence of Parliament to make the law on the subject to which the proposed legislation relates. The Division concerned, after it is drafted by Ministry of Law and Justice, shall submit it to the cabinet for approval of the draft Bill and obtaining the approval and signature of the Prime Minister.  After it, the Division concerned shall forward the draft along with the proposals and recommendations of cabinet and PM, if any, to the Ministry of Law and Justice in its final shape along with statement of objects and reasons duly signed by the Minister-in Charge. The Ministry of Law and Justice, after being satisfied of all the requirements, transfer the Bill to the Parliamentary Affairs Division for arranging its introduction in the appropriate House of Parliament.

The Bill shall be introduced, on a specified date, by the Minister in-Charge or any other Minister on his behalf.  The Minister concerned shall in consultation with the Leader of the House, decide as to which of the following motion should be made with regard to an official Bill after its introduction,–

(a) that it be taken into consideration at once and passed; or

(b) that it be taken into consideration on a date to be specified; or

(c) that it be referred to a Select Committee; or

(d) that it be circulated for the purpose of eliciting opinion thereon;

Pre-Introduction Phase or the Proposed Legislation or Drafting a Bill

Post Introduction Phase or Legislative Procedure in The Parliament

Article 70 of the Constitution lays down the legislative process when a Bill is introduced in the Parliament which is as follows:

Introduction and Passing of Bills

A Bill with respect to any matter in the Federal Legislative List may originate in either House and shall, if it is passed by the House in which it originated, be transmitted to the other House; and, if the Bill is passed without amendment by the other House also, it shall be presented to the President for assent.

If The Bill is Passed With Amendment by The House to Which it Was Transmitted

Clause (2) of article 70 provides that if a Bill transmitted to a House under clause (1) is passed with amendments it shall be sent back to the House in which it originated and if that House passes the Bill with those amendments it shall be presented to the President for assent.

Joint Session: In Case Bill Could Not Be Passed

According to clause (3) of article 70, if a Bill transmitted to a House under clause (1) is rejected or is not passed within ninety days of its laying in the House or a Bill sent to a House under clause (2) with amendments is not passed by that House with such amendments, the Bill, at the request of the House in which it originated, shall be considered in a joint sitting and if passed by the votes of the majority of the members present and voting in the joint sitting it shall be presented to the President for assent.

Clause (4) of the article 70 says that in this Article and the succeeding provisions of the Constitution, “Federal Legislative List” means the Federal Legislative List in the Fourth Schedule.

President’s Assent to Bills

Article 75 lays down the procedure of President’s assent to the bills passed by parliament which is as follows:

President Shall Assent to The Bill or Return The Bill For Reconsideration:

 When a  bill is  presented  to the President for assent, the President shall, within ten days:

(a)  assent to the Bill; or

(b)  in the case of a Bill other than a Money Bill, return the Bill to the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) with a message requesting that the Bill, or any specified provision thereof, be reconsidered and that any amendment specified in the message be considered.

Bill to be Presented to President After Reconsideration by Parliament

Clause 2 of article 75 says that when the President has returned a Bill to the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), it shall be reconsidered by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in joint sitting and, if it is again passed, with or without amendment, by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), by the votes of the majority of the members of both Houses present and voting, it shall be deemed for the purposes of the Constitution to have been passed by both Houses and shall be presented to the President, and the President shall give his assent within ten days, failing which such assent shall be deemed to have been given.]

Bill Becomes Law

In terms of the provisions of article 75(3) the bill, it shall become law and be called an Act of Parliament after President has assented to it.

Clause(4) of the article 75 says that no Act of Parliament, and no provision in any such Act, shall be invalid by reason only that some recommendation, previous sanction or consent required by the Constitution was not given if that Act was assented to in accordance with the Constitution.

Legislative Process in Parliament

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  1. President cannot refuse his assent. The most he can do is to return the bill to the parliament for reconsideration. When the bill is passed after reconsideration by joint session of Parliament, President shall give his assent within ten days. If he failed to give his assent within ten days, it shall be deemed to have given.

  2. It means legislation is actually controlled by bureaucracy as bill is drafted by them. Parliament only functions as a rubber stamp.

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