Constitution of India provides for a parliamentary form of government, where the Executive is responsible to the Parliament for its policies and acts.
Mechanisms of Parliamentary control over the Executive:
1. Question-hour, zero-hour, half-an-hour discussion, short duration discussion, calling attention motion, adjournment motion, no-confidence motion, censure motion, and other discussions.
2. General Discussion, Voting on policy/law; censure motion; no-confidence motion.
3. Budgetary control – appropriation of grants and post-budgetary control through financial committees like Public Accounts Committee, etc.
4. Walkouts, abstain from voting, use of live-streaming to put pressure on the executive.
Parliament unable to ensure accountability of the executive:
1. Tendencies to evade route of debates/discussions/checks through instruments –
- Money bill route [Aadhar bill];
- Use of voice vote mechanism [Farm bills];
- frequent ordinances.
2. Sidelining parliamentary institutions –
- lesser bills referred to parliamentary committees;
- low productivity of question-hour.
3. During the pandemic – a complete session [Winter session] was missed.
4. Lack of discipline/decorum – frequent disruptions [PRS – LS lost 1/6th; RS lost 1/3rd of its time to disruptions]
Suggestion to improve
1. Following 15-point reform charter for better functioning of Parliament as suggested by Vice President
2. Making scrutiny of all bills by Parliamentary Committees mandatory.
3. Providing adequate time to opposition members to debate issues of public importance.