What Pranab Mukherjee Said on ‘Ordinance’?

IAS Prelims 2023

Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee during his farewell speech on his last day in office has cautioned the governments in using the ‘Ordinance Route’ for making legislations in India.

In his words,“I am firm in the opinion that the Ordinance route should be used only in compelling circumstances and there should be no recourse to Ordinances on monetary matters. Ordinance route should not be taken on matters which are being considered or have been introduced in the House or a committee of the House. If a matter is deemed urgent, the concerned committee should be made aware of the situation and should be mandated to present its report within the stipulated time.”

Article 123 of the Constitution enables the President of India to promulgate an ordinance if neither House of Parliament is in session and “circumstances exist, which render it necessary for him to take immediate action”. Every ordinance has to be laid before Parliament, and ceases to exist six weeks from the end of the next sitting of Parliament. Since the Constitution mandates that Parliament be called into session at least once every six months, ordinances have a de facto expiration period of approximately seven and a half months. Article 213 gives the same power to the Governor of a State.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015, popularly known as Land bill was brought into effect through ordinance by three times continuously. But it finally lapsed and government decided not to bring ordinance for it 4th time.