Private Member Bill: Meaning, Significance, and Difference | Private Bill UPSC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

A Private Member Bill is introduced by the Member of Parliament (MP), who is not a Minister. The concerned member is in charge of drafting it, and the House requires one month’s notice before introducing a Private Members Bill. The two types of bills that are presented in parliament for the legislative process are Public and Private Bills. Public Bills are called government bills, whereas private bills are called Private Member Bills.

The topic of the Private Member Bill is covered under Indian Polity and Governance. In UPSC Mains, it is covered under GS Paper 2 Syllabus and is extremely important for the upcoming UPSC 2023.

What is a Private Member Bill?

A Private Member Bill is introduced by a member of parliament (MP) who is not a minister. To introduce Private Member’s Bill during a Parliament Session, a private member may provide a maximum of three notices. A Private Member Bill is intended to alert the government to problems with the current legal system that certain MPs believe call for legislative action.

Other than ministers, MPs are classified as private members.

  • Government legislation can be introduced and discussed on any given day as public bills. However, Private Member Bills can only be introduced and discussed on Fridays.
  • The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha decide if a Private Member’s Bill is admissible.
  • All such bills are examined by the Parliamentary Committee on Private Member’s Bills and Resolutions, which classifies them according to their urgency and importance.
  • The House’s rejection of it has no bearing on the government’s departure or parliamentary confidence.
  • Tradition dictates that the Indian President can veto a Private Member Bill by exercising his absolute veto power.

Veto Power of the President

Procedure to Introduce a Private Member Bill

Both Houses of Parliament follow a largely uniform process. The Private Member Bill cannot be scheduled for introduction unless the Member has given at least one month’s notice. Before listing, the House secretariat checks to see if it complies with the constitution’s requirements and legislative guidelines.

A ballot system determines the order of bills to be introduced when there are several measures.

What is a Secret Ballot?

Difference Between Government Bills and Private Member Bills

We are all aware that public bills are the government’s, whereas private bills are those of MPs. There are a few distinctions between the two, as shown in the table below:

Government Bills Private Member Bills
Any day can be utilized to introduce and debate it. Only on Fridays is it introduced and discussed.
There is typically no notice period. A month’s notice is needed before it is introduced.
It reflects the governing party’s or government’s policy. It may represent the ruling party’s policies and those of other parties.
The government’s competence may be questioned if it is defeated in the house. The house’s refusal will not impact the credibility of the private member.
An individual MP cannot initiate such a bill. Such a bill may be introduced by individual MPs (who are not Ministers) to call the government’s attention to potential problems that call for legislative action.

Types of Bills in a Parliament

Significance of Private Member Bill

The Private Member’s Bill seeks to bring the government’s attention to what certain MPs believe to be problems and holes in the current legal system that calls for legislative action. As a result, it reflects the opposing party’s position on important issues.

List of Private Member Bills That Became Laws

The table below lists the Private Members’ Bills that the Indian Parliament has approved.

Private Members’ Bill Name of MP Introduced In
The Muslim Wakf’s Bill 1952 Syed Mohammed Ahmed Kasmi Lok Sabha
The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill 1953 Raghunath Singh Lok Sabha
The Women’s & Children’s Institution (Licensing) Bill 1954 Kamledu Mati Shah Lok Sabha
The Ancient and Historical Monuments & Archeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) Bill 1954 Dr Raghubir Singh Rajya Sabha
The Indian Registration (Amendment) Bill 1955 SC Samanta Lok Sabha
The Hindu Marriage (Amendment) Bill 1956 Dr Seeta Parmanand Rajya Sabha
The Parliamentary Proceedings (Protection of Publication) Bill 1956 Feroze Gandhi Lok Sabha
The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill 1957 Subhadra Joshi Lok Sabha
Marine Insurance Bill 1959 MP Bhargava Rajya Sabha
The Orphanages & Other Charitable Homes (Supervision & Control) Bill 1960 Kailashh Bihari Lal Rajya Sabha
The Hindu Marriage (Amendment) Bill 1963 Diwan Chand Sharma Lok Sabha
The Salaries & Allowances of MPs (Amendment) Bill 1964 Raghunath Singh Lok Sabha
Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Bill 1968 Anand Narian Mullah Lok Sabha
Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Bill Diwan Chaman Lall Rajya Sabha

What are IPC and CRPC?

Has Any Private Member’s Bill Ever Become a Law?

According to PRS Legislative Research, the Parliament has not approved a private member’s bill since 1970. The Parliament has already approved 14 similar Bills, including six in 1956. Since 2000, 999 Private Member Bills were introduced during the 16th Lok Sabha (2014–19). In the 16th Lok Sabha, 142 bills have been introduced, 34 of which have been introduced ten or more times.

Difference Between an Act and a Law

In contrast, 84 members of the 15th Lok Sabha introduced bills, and 11 did so with ten or more. Despite approximately 1,000 Bills being introduced, less than 10 were discussed for 50 hours during the 16th Lok Sabha.

Private Member Bill UPSC

The Private Member Bill is a topic of Indian Polity and Governance and is covered in detail under the UPSC GS Paper 2 Syllabus. Having conceptual clarity about the topic helps greatly during the UPSC Prelims in eliminating wrong options.

Students can study the topic better by referring to the Polity Books for UPSC.

Private Member Bill UPSC Questions

Question: Consider the following statements concerning the “Private Members bill.” Which of the above-given statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 3 only

Answer: Option 4

Question: On what day would a Private Members Bill be discussed in the Lok Sabha?

  1. Monday
  2. Wednesday
  3. Friday
  4. Saturday

Answer: Option 3

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