. Every ordinary bill has to pass through the following five stages in the Parliament before it finds a place on the Statute Book:
An ordinary bill can be introduced in either House of Parliament. Such a bill can be introduced either by a minister or by any other member. The member who wants to introduce the bill has to ask for the leave of the House. When the House grants leave to introduce the bill, the mover of the bill introduces it by reading its title and objectives. No discussion on the bill takes place at this stage. Later, the bill is published in the Gazette of India. If a bill is published in the Gazette before its introduction, leave of the House to introduce the bill is not necessary.18 The introduction of the bill and its publication in the Gazette constitute the first reading of the bill.
During this stage, the bill receives not only the general but also the detailed scrutiny and assumes its final shape. Hence, it forms the most important stage in the enactment of a bill. In fact, this stage involves three more sub-stages, namely, stage of general discussion, committee stage and consideration stage.
At this stage, the debate is confined to the acceptance or rejection of the bill as a whole and no amendments are allowed, as the general principles underlying the bill have already been scrutinised during the stage of second reading. If the majority of members present and voting accept the bill, the bill is regarded as passed by the House. Thereafter, the bill is authenticated by the presiding officer of the House and transmitted to the second House for consideration and approval. A bill is deemed to have been passed by the Parliament only when both the Houses have agreed to it, either with or without amendments.
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