Karnataka Legislature finishes on top in sitting days, a study reveals


Compared to its average number of sitting days of 32 during 2016-19, the Karnataka Legislature met on 31 days last year, the highest for any State in 2020, according to a study.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown, which affected the functioning of Legislature of several States last year in the country, had an apparently marginal impact on the working of the Karnataka Legislature, if the number of sitting days is an indication.

Compared to its average number of sitting days of 32 during 2016-19, the Karnataka Legislature, which is bi-cameral, met on 31 days last year, the highest for any State in 2020, according to a study that covered 19 States.

The southern State was followed by Rajasthan (29 days) and Himachal Pradesh (25 days). For comparison, Parliament met for 33 days last year.

In 2020, the average number of sitting days for the 19 States was 18, which was 11 less than the four-year (2016-19) average of 29.

Kerala, which had the distinction of remaining at the top in the four years with an average of 53 days, had only 20 days of sittings of the legislature last year, stated the study’s report, “Annual Review of State Laws 2020,” which was prepared by the PRS Legislative Research (“PRS”), a New Delhi-based think tank.

As regards other southern States, Tamil Nadu had met on 23 days against its four-year average of 35, Andhra Pradesh – 12 (26) and Telengana – 17 (25).

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After the lockdown, Karnataka’s figure of sitting days of the legislature was 10; Telengana – 9; Andhra Pradesh – 7; Tamil Nadu – 3 and Kerala – 2. However, the highest for any State, post-lockdown, was 11 in Chhattisgarh followed by 10 in Himachal Pradesh. Rajasthan, which was the number two State in terms of the overall number of sitting days, had met only on five days after the lockdown.

As for the number of bills passed last year, Karnataka again topped the list with 61 bills followed by Tamil Nadu (42) and Uttar Pradesh (37). For this purpose, Appropriation Bills had been excluded.

Among poor performers under this category, Delhi had passed only one bill; West Bengal – two and Kerala – three.

On the duration of time taken to pass bills, the previous year saw 59% of the bills getting passed by the legislature of the States on the day of introduction. A further 14% was adopted within a day of being introduced. Only 9% of the bills was passed more than five days after introduction, some of which were referred to committees for further examination.

In respect of ordinances, data from the 19 states showed that, on average, 14 ordinances were promulgated last year. This number was skewed by Kerala which had issued 81 ordinances, nearly one half of which pertained to re-promulgation.

Karnataka came next with 24 ordinances followed by Uttar Pradesh with 23. A total of 13 ordinances was promulgated by Tamil Nadu, the report added.



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Sagar Biswas

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