The Constitution of India establishes a parliamentary form of government, wherein the Executive is accountable to the Parliament for its policies and actions.

Effective Mechanisms for Parliamentary Control over the Executive:

  • Robust avenues for deliberation, including the Question Hour, Zero Hour, Half-an-Hour Discussion, Short Duration Discussion, Calling Attention Motion, Adjournment Motion, No-Confidence Motion, Censure Motion, and other pertinent discussions.
  • Engaging in General Discussions and conducting voting on policies/laws, along with utilizing censure motions and no-confidence motions as powerful instruments.
  • Exercising thorough budgetary control by appropriating grants and ensuring post-budgetary scrutiny through esteemed financial committees such as the Public Accounts Committee.
  • Utilizing strategic approaches like walkouts, abstaining from voting, and employing live-streaming as effective means to exert substantial pressure on the Executive.

Challenges Hindering Parliamentary Accountability of the Executive:

1. Persistent tendencies to evade critical debates, discussions, and checks through various means:

  • Utilizing the money bill route as seen in the example of the Aadhar bill.
  • Resorting to the voice vote mechanism, as witnessed with the Farm bills.
  • Overreliance on frequent ordinances.

2. Inadequate emphasis on parliamentary institutions:

  • Insufficient number of bills referred to parliamentary committees for comprehensive examination.
  • Suboptimal productivity during the Question Hour, which hampers effective scrutiny.

3. Adverse impact of the pandemic:

  • The unfortunate absence of an entire session, namely the winter session, due to the prevailing circumstances.

4. Lack of discipline and decorum:

  • Frequent disruptions causing significant time loss (according to PRS, the Lok Sabha lost 1/6th of its time, while the Rajya Sabha lost 1/3rd of its time to disruptions).

Proposed Strategies for Enhancing Accountability:

  • Implementing a comprehensive 15-point reform charter proposed by the esteemed Vice President, aimed at elevating the overall functioning of Parliament.
  • Mandating meticulous scrutiny of all bills by Parliamentary Committees to ensure thorough examination and inclusive decision-making.
  • Allocating adequate time for opposition members to engage in meaningful debates on issues of public importance, fostering a vibrant democratic discourse.
Legacy Editor Changed status to publish December 22, 2023