Kerala, which dropped to eighth place in terms of convening Assembly sessions during the initial COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, regained first place in 2021 with the nation’s longest House session at 61 days. The PRS Legislative Research, a think tank with its headquarters in New Delhi, published the research on the operation of State Assemblies for 2021.
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- The guidelines for how legislatures should operate were set forth by the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2000–2002), which was presided over by former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah.
- The Houses of State/UT legislatures should convene for at least 50 days a year for those with fewer than 70 members, like Puducherry, and at least 90 days for those with more members.
- The Presiding Officers’ Conference, which took place in Gandhinagar in January 2016, recommended that State legislatures meet for at least 60 days per year.
- The PRS notes that 23 State Assemblies met for an average of 25 days between 2016 and 2021.
- Regarding the ordinance route, which the Supreme Court has ruled should only be utilised in rare cases, 21 of the 28 States published ordinances last year.
Other Important Highlights of the Report:
- Karnataka came in second with 40 sitting days, followed by Tamil Nadu with 34, and Odisha with 43.
- The average number of State legislature sessions would have been far less than the current figure of 21 days if not for the top three States.
- 17 of the 28 State Assemblies and the assembly of one Union Territory convened for fewer than 20 days.
- Five of them (Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, and Delhi) convened for fewer than ten days.
- 17, 16, and 11 were the numbers for Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, and Punjab, respectively.
- Kerala was followed by Andhra Pradesh with 20 regulations and Maharashtra with 15 ordinances.