Rajya Sabha may hold only two sessions in a year for the fourth time

If the Rajya Sabha does not convene for the winter session on account of the coronavirus pandemic, then 2020 will be the fourth such year when the house has met only twice in a year instead of the conventional practice of having three sittings.

No decision has been taken so far on the schedule for the winter session that is held between November and December, but the rising cases of coronavirus infections in the Capital will be a critical factor to consider the plausibility of convening Parliament, persons aware of the details said on Monday.

In the past Rajya Sabha did not convene for the winter session four times since 1952, according to information provided by officials aware of the details. In 1975, 1979 and 1984 there was no winter session for the upper house. In 1952, the first session was held on May 13 and a second session was held in the winter.

In 2008, the house met for two sessions, but these were held in four parts, which covered the budget session, the winter season and the monsoon session.

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There is no rule laid down in the Constitution to specify the number of times Parliament should meet in a year, but it stipulates that the gap between two sessions should not be more than six months.

As per convention, the upper house of Parliament like the Lok Sabha meets for three sessions a year, the budget session, the monsoon session and the winter session. However for seven years, in 1961, 1962, 1964, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1985, the upper house had six sessions.

For 31 years, the house met during four sessions held annually while for 27 years it met for the current practice of three sessions a year, said an official aware of the details.

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