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Calling Attention

Calling Attention to Matters of Urgent Public Importance What is a Calling Attention?


A member may, with the prior permission of the Speaker, call the attention of a Minister to any matter
of urgent public importance and the Minister may make a brief statement or ask for time to make a
statement at a later hour or date.
Notice
2. Notice of a calling attention should be given, in writing, addressed to the Secretary-General
and copies thereof endorsed separately to: (i) the Speaker, and (ii) the Minister concerned.
Standard forms for giving notice are available in Parliamentary Notice Office.
3. Normally, a member should not give more than two calling attention notices for any one
sitting. Notice signed by more than one member is deemed to have been given by the first
signatory only.
When to table the notice?
4. Calling attention notices can be tabled from the date specified in Bulletin-Part II circulated to
members alongwith Summons for the session. Normally, the notices are entertained three
working days before the commencement of the session. Notices received prior to that date are
not considered valid and are returned to members.
Validity of Notices
6. All notices received are valid for the week in which these have been tabled. Notices received
upto 10.00 hours on the last day of the week on which the House sits and not selected by the
Speaker during that week automatically lapse. No intimation about notices which lapse in the
ordinary course is given to the members. However, the members may, if they so desire, revive
their notices for the following week by giving fresh notices on the subjects.
Notices on a subject which have either been admitted for any subsequent sitting during the
following week or referred to the Government for furnishing facts do not, however, lapse.
7. The notices for the following week can be given only after 10.00 hours on the last day of the
week on which the House sits, and are valid for the entire following week.
Selection of Notices
8. All calling attention notices received from day to day in a week are placed before the
Speaker daily. These include notices received upto 10.00 hours on the day on which the notices
are placed before the Speaker. The Speaker goes through those notices and may select one
matter which in his opinion is more urgent and important, for the following day.
9. Ordinarily, only one matter is taken up on a day. In certain cases, however, the Speaker
may select two such matters to be taken up at one sitting. Not more than two such matters can
be raised at the same sitting.
Ballot of Admitted Notices
10. Names of not more than five members are shown on a calling attention in the List of
Business. Where the number of members who have given notice on a subject selected by the
Speaker is more than five, a ballot is held to determine the inter se priority of five members in
whose names the item is to be included in the List of Business. If the number of members
giving notices on a subject selected by the Speaker is five or less, their inter se priority is
determined with reference to the date and time of receipt of the notices. However, if more than
one notice is received at the same point of time, a ballot is held to determine their inter se
priority.
11. In the ballot, the names of all the members whose notices on the subject selected by the
Speaker have been received upto 10.00 hours on the day (upto the time of selection in case a
calling attention is selected for the following week on the last/or any sitting day of the week)
are included. As soon as the calling attention is admitted and ballot held, the Minister
concerned and the members who have secured priority in the ballot are informed.

Entry in the List of Business

12. Names of members who have secured priority in the ballot are shown against the item
when it is included in the List of Business for a particular day.

13. If a member has any objection to his name being shown on the calling attention in the
form in which it has been admitted by the Speaker, he may inform the Lok Sabha
Secretariat, immediately (but not later than the time when the House rises for the day,
preceding the day on which calling attention is scheduled to be taken up), in writing that
his name may not be shown on the calling attention in the List of Business.

When to call the attention of Minister?

14. The member whose name appears first on the entry in the List of Business, when
called by the Speaker, calls the attention of the Minister by reading out th subject from the
prescribed form which is handed over to him by the Lobby Officer in advance of the item
being taken up in the House.

15. In case the member whose name appears first in the List of Business is not present,
the attention is called by the member whose name appears next and so on and so forth.

In case all the members in whose names the item has been included are absent, the
Minister is not required to make the statement. However, there is no bar if the Minister
chooses to make a suo motu statement on the subject or lay a copy thereof on the Table
of the House. There is, however, no provision a member to authorise any other member
whose name is not included in the List of Business to call the attention on his behalf.

16. After the member has called the attention, the Minister makes a brief statement in
response thereto.

17. Copies of the statement to be made by the Minister in response to calling attention
are supplied members, in whose names the item stands in the List of Business in advance
on the day on which the item is to be taken up.
18. No debate is permitted on such a statement at the time it is made but each member in
whose name the item stands in the List of Business is permitted ask a brief clarificatory
question.

19. The member who calls the attention may take not more than ten minutes and other
members not more than five minutes each. The Minister replies the end to all the
clarificatory questions asked members and the total time taken on a Calling Attention on a
day is restricted to half-an-hour to forty-five minutes.

20. A member whose name does not appear on the calling attention in the List of Business
is not permitted to ask a question or seek any clarification.

[Calling Attention notices are governed by Rule 197 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct
of Business in Lok Sabha and Directions 47A and 2(xxii) of Directions by the Speaker.

QUESTIONS ON THE COMPOSITION OF LOK SABHA

Question 13. What is the strength of Lok Sabha as prescribed in the Constitution?

Answer. The maximum strength of the Lok Sabha as envisaged by the Constitution is
552 - not more than 530 members chosen by direct election from territorial
constituencies in the States, not more than 20 members to represent the
Union territories [Article 81]; and not more than two members of the Anglo-
Indian community to be nominated by the President, if he is of the opinion
that the Anglo-Indian community is not adequately represented in the Lok
Sabha [Article 331].

Question 14.What is the life of the Lok Sabha?

Answer. The normal life of the Lok Sabha is five years, but it may be dissolved earlier

by the President. The normal term can be extended by an act passed by

Parliament itself during the period when a proclamation of emergency under

article 352 of the Constitution remains in operation. This period may be

extended by Parliament for a period not exceeding one year at a time and

not exceeding in any case beyond a period of six months after the

proclamation has ceased to operate.


Question 15. What is the quorum of Lok Sabha?

Answer. The quorum to constitute a sitting of the House under article 100(3) is one-
tenth of the total number of members of the House.

Question 16. Which is the party having the largest number of members in the

fourteenth Lok Sabha? Answer. The Indian National Congress Party is

the party having the largest number of members in the House followed by

the Bharatiya Janata Party.

QUESTIONS ON THE OFFICERS OF LOK SABHA

Question 17. Who is the Presiding Officer of the Lok Sabha?

Answer. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are the Presiding Officers of the Lok

Sabha.

Question 18. What is the term of the Office of the Speaker?

Answer. The Speaker holds office from the date of his election till the first sitting of

the Lok Sabha after the dissolution of the one to which he was elected.

Question 19. Who presides over the Lok Sabha when the Speaker is absent from

the sitting of the House?

Answer. The Deputy Speaker presides over the Lok Sabha when the Speaker is

absent from the sitting of the House.

Question 20. Who presides over the Lok Sabha when both the Speaker's and the

Deputy Speaker's offices fall vacant?

Answer. When the Offices of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker fall vacant,
the duties of the Office of the Speaker are performed by such member of
the Lok Sabha as the President may appoint for the purpose. The person so
appointed is known as the Speaker pro tem.

Question 21. Who presides over the House in the absence of both the Speaker

and the Deputy Speaker?

Answer. The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha provide that
at the commencement of the House or from time to time, as the case may
be, the Speaker shall nominate from amongst the members a panel of not
more than ten Chairmen, anyone of whom may preside over the House in
the absence of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker when so requested by
the Speaker or, in his absence, by the Deputy Speaker.

Question 22. Who is the present Speaker of the Lok Sabha?

Answer. Shri Somnath Chatterjee.

Question 23. Who is the present Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha?

Answer Shri Charnjeet Singh Atwal

Question 24. Who is the Leader of the House in the Fourteenth Lok Sabha?

Answer. Shri Pranab Mukherjee

Question 25. Who is the leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha?

Answer. Shri Lal Krishna Advani

Question 26. Who is the President of the Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG)?

Answer. The Speaker is the ex-officio President of the Indian Parliamentary Group.

Question 27. Who is the Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha?

Answer. Shri P.D.T. Achary


QUESTIONS ON MEMBERS OF LOK SABHA

Question 28. How are the members of the Lok Sabha elected?

Answer. The members of the Lok Sabha are elected through general elections, held

on the basis of universal adult suffrage. For this purpose the country is

divided into 543 parliamentary constituencies. When the seat of a member

elected to the House becomes vacant or is declared vacant, or his election is

declared void, the same is filled through by-election.

Question 29. What are the qualifications to become a member of the Lok Sabha?

Answer. To become a member of the Lok Sabha, a person should be a citizen of

India, not less than 25 years of age and possess such other qualifications as

may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament [Article 84].

Question 30. How many members are nominated to the Lok Sabha?

Answer. The President may, if he is of opinion that the Anglo-Indian community is

not adequately represented in the Lok Sabha, nominate not more than two

members of that community to the Lok Sabha. [Article 331]

Question 31. Who are the nominated members of the Fourteenth Lok Sabha?

Answer. In the Fourteenth Lok Sabha, two members, i.e. Smt. Ingrid Mcleod and

Shri Francis Fanthome are nominated members.

Question 32. Currently who is the longest serving member in Lok Sabha?

Answer. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee


QUESTIONS ON ROLE AND FUNCTIONS OF LOK SABHA

Question 34. What are the powers of Lok Sabha relating to Money Bills?

Answer. A Bill is deemed to be a 'Money Bill' if it contains only provisions dealing with

all or any of the followings matters: (a) the imposition, abolition, remission,

alteration or regulation of any tax; (b) the regulation of the borrowing of

money by the Government; (c) the custody of the Consolidated Fund or the

Contingency Fund of India, the payment of moneys into or the withdrawal of

moneys from any such fund; payments of moneys into or the withdrawal of

moneys from any such fund; (d) the appropriation of moneys out of the

Consolidated Fund of India; (e) the declaring of any expenditure to be

expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or the increasing of

the amount of any such expenditure; (f) the receipt of money on account of

the Consolidated Fund of India or the public account of India or the custody

or issue of such money or the audit of the accounts of the Union or of a

State; or (g) any matter incidental to any of the matters specified in sub-

clauses (a) to (f) [Art.110]. A Money Bill can be introduced only in the Lok

Sabha.

The Rajya Sabha cannot make amendments in a Money Bill passed

by the Lok Sabha and transmitted to it. It can, however, recommend

amendments in a Money Bill. It is open to the Lok Sabha to accept or reject

any or all of the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha with regard to a

Money Bill. If the Lok Sabha accepts any of the recommendations of the

Rajya Sabha, the Money Bill is deemed to have been passed by both Houses

with amendments recommended by the Rajya Sabha and accepted by the

Lok Sabha and if the Lok Sabha does not accept any of the

recommendations of the Rajya Sabha, the Money Bill is deemed to have


been passed by both Houses in the form in which it was passed by the Lok

Sabha without any of the amendments recommended by the Rajya Sabha.

If a Money Bill passed by the Lok Sabha and transmitted to the Rajya

Sabha is not returned to the Lok Sabha within the said period of fourteen

days, it is deemed to have been passed by both Houses at the expiration of

the said period in the form in which it was passed by the Lok Sabha.

Question 35. What is the legislative relationship between the Lok Sabha and the
Rajya Sabha?

Answer. In Legislative matters, both the Houses enjoy almost equal powers except in
the case of Money Bills. The main function of both the Houses is to pass
laws. Every Bill has to be passed by both the Houses and assented to by
the President before it becomes law. In case of Money Bills, the Lok Sabha
has the overriding powers. Money Bills cannot be introduced in the Rajya
Sabha and are deemed to have been passed if these are not returned to the
Lok Sabha within fourteen days.

Question 36. Is any deadlock between the two Houses possible?

Answer. Yes. In the case of Bills other than Money Bills and the Constitution

Amendment Bills, a disagreement between the two Houses may arise when

a Bill passed by one House is rejected by the other House; or the Houses

have finally disagreed as to the amendments to be made in the Bill; or more

than six months have elapsed from the date of the receipt of the Bill by the

other House without the Bill being passed by it.

Question 37. What is the mechanism for resolving the deadlock between the two

Houses?

Answer. A joint sitting of both Houses is convened for this purpose. [Article 108]

Question 38. How many joint sittings of the Houses have been convened so far?
Answer. So far, joint sittings of the two Houses have taken place on three occasions.

The first joint sitting was held on 6 and 9 May 1961, following disagreement

between the two Houses over certain amendments to the Dowry Prohibition

Bill, 1959. The second joint sitting was held on 16 May, 1978, following

rejection by the Rajya Sabha of the Banking Service Commission (Repeal)

Bill, 1977. The third joint sitting was held on 26 March 2002 when the

motion to consider the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2002, seeking to

replace the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) as passed by the Lok

Sabha was rejected by the Rajya Sabha. This sitting was held for the

purpose of deliberating and voting on the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2002.

Question 39. Who presides over the joint sitting of the two Houses?

Answer. The Speaker, Lok Sabha presides over the joint sitting of the two Houses.

[Article 118(4)]

Question 40. Does the Speaker have the right to vote?

Answer. The Speaker has a casting vote in case of a tie.

Question 41. How many sessions of the Lok Sabha are held in a year?

Answer. Normally three sessions of Lok Sabha are held in a year, viz.,

(1) Budget Session February - May

(2) Autumn or Monsoon Session July - August

(3) Winter Session November - December

Question 42. When was the last all-night sitting of the Lok Sabha held?
Answer. It was on 30 April, 2002, when the House sat from 11.00 hrs. to 04.25 hrs.

(1 May, 2002) in connection with the discussion on the Motion under Rule

184 re. Situation in Gujarat.

Question 43. What is Adjournment, Prorogation and Dissolution of the


Lok Sabha?

Answer. An adjournment terminates the sitting of the House which meets again at
the time appointed for the next sitting. An adjournment also signifies brief
break of the sitting of the House which re-assembles at the appointed time
on the same day.

Prorogation means the termination of a session of the House by an order


made by the President under article 85(2)(a) of the Constitution. Usually,
prorogation follows the adjournment of the sitting of the House sine die.

Dissolution of the House means the end of the life of the Lok Sabha either
by an order made by the President under article 85 (2) (b) of the
Constitution or on the expiration of the period of five years from the date
appointed for its first meeting.

Question 44. What are the methods of voting in the Lok Sabha?

Answer. The procedure regarding Voting and Divisions in the House is governed by

article 100(1) of the Constitution and Rules 367, 367A, 367AA and 367B of

the Rules of Procedure and conduct of Business in Lok Sabha. The various

methods adopted for voting in the Lok Sabha are:

(i) Voice Vote: It is a simple method for deciding a question put by the

Chair on motion made by a member. Under this method, the question

before the House is determined by the `Ayes' or the `Noes', as the case

may be.

(ii) Division: There are three methods of holding a Division, i.e. (a) by

operating the Automatic Vote Recording Equipment, (b) by distributing


`Ayes' and `Noes' slips in the House, and (c) by members going into the

Lobbies. However, the method of recording of votes in Lobbies has become

obsolete ever since the installation of the Automatic Vote Recording

Machine.

(iii) Secret Ballot: Secret voting, if any, is on similar lines except that

the Light Emitting Diode (LED) on Individual Result Display Panel flashes

only the amber light to show that the vote has been recorded.

During an 'open' voting period, the individual result are shown by

the three characters 'A', 'N' and 'O' on the Individual Result Display Panel,

but during a secret voting, only the votes cast are shown by 'P' sign in

amber light.

(iv) Recording of votes by distribution of slips: The method of

recording of votes by members on `Aye' and `No' slips is generally resorted

to in the eventuality of (i) sudden failure of the working of Automatic Vote

Recording Equipment, and (ii) at the commencement of the new Lok Sabha,

before the seats/division numbers have been allotted to members.

(v) Physical count of Members in their places instead of a formal

division: If in the opinion of the Chair, a Division is unnecessarily claimed,

he may ask the members who are for `Aye' and those for `No' respectively

to rise in their places and on a count being taken, he may declare the

determination of the House. In such a case, the particulars of voting of

members are not recorded.

(vi) Casting Vote: If in a Division the number of `Ayes' and `Noes' is

equal, the question is decided by the casting vote of the Chair. Under the
Constitution, the Speaker or the person acting as such cannot vote in a

Division, he has only a casting vote which he must exercise in the case of

equality of votes.

Question 45. What is the Question-Hour of the House?

Answer. Generally, the first hour of every sitting of the House, devoted to asking

and answering questions, is called the `Question Hour'.

Question 46. What are Starred, Unstarred, Short Notice Questions and Questions

to Private Members?

Answer. A Starred Question is one to which a member desires an oral answer in

the House. It is distinguished by an asterik. To a starred question,

members can put supplementaries, answers to which are given by the

Minister on the floor of the House.

Unstarred Question is one to which a written answer is desired by the

member and is deemed to be laid on the Table of the House by the Minister.

A Short Notice Question is a question relating to a matter of public


importance asked for oral answer by a member at a notice shorter than ten
clear days. If the Speaker is of the opinion that the question is of an urgent
nature, the Minister concerned is asked if he is in a position to reply to the
question at a shorter notice, and if so, on what date. If the Minister
concerned agrees to reply, such a question is answered on a day to be
indicated by him immediately after the questions which appeared on the list
of questions for oral answer are disposed of.

A question may also be addressed to a Private Member provided that the

subject matter of the question relates to some Bill, Resolution or other

matter connected with the business of the House for which that Member is
responsible. The procedure in regard to such questions is the same as that

followed in the case of questions addressed to a Minister with such

variations as the Speaker may consider necessary.

Question 47. What is the total limit of questions admitted for a particular day?

Answer. The total number of questions in a starred list for a day is 20. All admitted

Starred Questions, which do not find a place in the Starred List of Questions,

may be considered for Unstarred List of that day.

The total number of questions in the Unstarred List of any one day does not

normally exceed 230. However, the number may exceed by a maximum of

25 questions pertaining to State/States under the President's Rule.

Question 48. Who decides the admissibility of questions?

Answer. Admissibility of the questions is governed by Rules, Directions by the

Speaker as also precedents. The Speaker, Lok Sabha decides whether a

question, or a part thereof, is or is not admissible under the Rules. He may

disallow any question, or a part thereof, when in his opinion, it is an abuse

of the right of questioning or is calculated to obstruct or prejudicially affect

the procedure of the House or is in contravention of the Rules. The right to

ask a question is governed by certain conditions like it should be pointed,

specific and confined to one issue only. It should not contain arguments,

inferences, ironical expressions, imputations, epithets or defamatory

statements.

Question 49. How many types of committees are there in the Lok Sabha?

Answer Parliamentary Committees are of two kinds: Ad hoc Committees and the
Standing Committees.
Ad hoc Committees are constituted by the House or by the Presiding officers,
singly or jointly for a specific purpose and cease to exist when they finish
the task assigned to them and submit a report. The usual Ad hoc
committees are the Select/Joint Committees on Bills and others like, the
Railway Convention Committee, set up to review the rate of dividend
payable by Railways to the General Revenues and those constituted to
enquire into and report on specific subjects.

The Standing Committees are those Committees which are either elected by
the House or nominated by the Presiding Officer(s) (i.e., The Speaker in
case of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman in the case of the Rajya Sabha)
periodically and are permanent in nature. The Standing Committees of the
Lok Sabha are : Business Advisory Committee, General Purposes
Committee, Committee on Government Assurances, House Committee,
Committee on Petitions, Committee on Subordinate Legislation, Committee
on Papers Laid on the Table, Committee on Privileges, Committee on
Absence of Members from the Sittings of the House, Committee on
Estimates, Committee on Private Members Bills and Resolutions and Rules
Committee.

Some of the Standing Committees of Lok Sabha are joint Committees as


members of both the Houses of Parliament are nominated/elected to them.
Such committees include: Committee on Public Accounts, Committee on
Public Undertakings, Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes, Joint Committee on Offices of Profit, Joint Committee on
Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament, Committee on
Empowerment of Women and Library Committee. Besides, there are
Departmentally related Standing Committees (DRSCs).

Question 50. What are Departmentally related Standing Committees?

Answer. These Committees, as their name suggests, consider and report on the

working/demands for grants of the Ministries/Departments assigned to

them. These Committees also consider, examine and report on the national

basic long term policy documents presented to the Houses, and such Bills as

are referred to it by the Chairman or the Speaker. There are twenty four
such Committees, each consisting of not more than thirty one members, out

of which twenty one members are nominated by the Speaker, Lok Sabha

and ten members are nominated by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha. Of the

twenty four DRSCs, sixteen Committees function under the administrative

control of the Speaker, Lok Sabha and eight Committees under the

administrative control of the Chairman, Rajya Sabha.

Question 51. Which are the Departmentally related Standing Committees

attached to the Lok Sabha?

Answer. The sixteen Departmentally related Standing Committees functioning under

the administrative control of the Speaker, Lok Sabha are: Committee on

Agriculture; Committee on Communications; Committee on Defence;

Committee on Energy; Committee on External Affairs; Committee on

Finance; Committee on Food; Civil Supplies and Public Distribution;

Committee on Labour & Welfare; Committee on Petroleum and Chemicals;

Committee on Railways; Committee on Water Resources; Committee on

Chemicals and Fertilizers; Committee on Coal and Steel; Committee on

Social Justice and Empowerment; Committee on Urban Development; and

Committee on Rural Development.

QUESTIONS RELATING TO LEGISLATION

Question 52. What is a Bill?

Answer. A Bill is the draft of a legislative proposal brought before the House for its
approval.

Question 53. What are the types of Bills?


Answer. The Bills initiated by Ministers are called Government Bills and those
introduced by members who are not Ministers, are known as Private
Members' Bills. Depending on their contents, Bills may further be classified
broadly into (a) Original Bills, which embody new proposals, (b) Amending
Bills, which seek to amend the existing Acts, (c) Consolidating Bills, which
seek to consolidate existing laws on a particular subject, (d) Expiring Laws
(Continuance) Bills, which, otherwise, would expire on a specified date, (e)
Repealing Bills, (f) Bills to replace Ordinances, (g) Money and Financial Bills
and (h) Constitution Amendment Bills.

Question 54. Who decides whether a Bill is an ordinary Bill or Money Bill?

Answer. If any question arises whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not, the decision of

the Speaker, Lok Sabha, thereon, shall be final. If it is a Money Bill within

the scope of article 110 of the Constitution, the Speaker shall endorse a

certificate at the end of the Bill to that effect.

Question 55. What is the difference between a Bill and an Act?

Answer A Bill is a draft legislative proposal before the House. It becomes an Act
only when passed by both the Houses of Parliament and assented to by the
President.

Question 56. What are the various steps involved in the passage of a Bill?

Answer. A Bill while being considered has to undergo three stages in each House of
Parliament. The first stage consists of the Introduction of the Bill which is
done on a motion moved by either a Minister or a member.

During the second stage any of the following motions can be moved: that
the Bill be taken into consideration; that it be referred to a Select
Committee of the House; that it be referred to a Joint Committee of the two
Houses; or that it be circulated for the purpose of eliciting opinion thereon.
Thereafter, the Bill is taken up for clause-by-clause consideration as
introduced or as reported by the Select/Joint Committee.
The third stage is confined to the discussion on the motion that the Bill be
passed and the Bill is passed/rejected either by voting or voice vote, or
returned to the Lok Sabha, in the case of a Money Bill by Rajya Sabha.

Question 57. What is Budget?

Answer. The Budget is the `Annual Financial Statement' or the Statement of the
Estimated Receipts and Expenditure of the Government of India in respect of
each financial year, presented to the Lok Sabha on such day as the
President may direct. A copy of the Budget is laid in the Rajya Sabha soon
after its presentation in the Lok Sabha.

Question 58. What is the Budget Session of Parliament?

Answer. The Budget Session of Parliament is normally held during February to May of
the year. During this period, the Budget comes before Parliament for its
deliberation, voting and approval. The Departmentally related Standing
Committees consider the demands for grants of Ministries/Departments and
report on the same to the Houses of Parliament.

Question 59. How many Budgets are usually presented in the Lok Sabha?

Answer. Two types of Budgets are usually presented in the House namely, the
General Budget and the Railway Budget.

Question 60. Who presents the Budget in the House?

Answer. The General Budget is presented in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of Finance
and the Railway Budget is presented in the House by the Minister of
Railways.

PROCEDURAL DEVICES FOR RAISING MATTERS OF PUBLIC INTEREST

Question 61. What is a Calling Attention ?

Answer. Under this procedural device, a member may, with the previous permission

of the Speaker, call the attention of a Minister to any matter of urgent public

importance and the Minister may make a brief statement or ask for time to
make a statement at a later hour or date. There can be no debate on such

a statement at the time it is made. But, brief clarifications can be sought

from the Minister by a member who has initiated the Calling Attention and

other members who are called by the Speaker. The Calling Attention

procedure is an Indian innovation. It combines asking a question with

supplementaries and making brief comments. In this procedure,

Government gets adequate opportunity to state its case. The calling

attention matter is not subject to the vote of the House.

Question 62. What is a Motion?

Answer. The term `motion' in parliamentary parlance means any formal proposal
made to the House by a member for the purpose of eliciting a decision of
the House. It is phrased in such a way that, if adopted, it will purport to
express the judgement or will of the House.

Motions may be classified into three broad categories namely substantive,


substitute and subsidiary. A substantive motion is a self-contained
independent proposal made in reference to a subject which the mover
wishes to bring forward e.g., all Resolutions are substantive motions.
Substitute Motion as its name suggests is moved in substitution of the
original motion for taking into consideration a policy or situation or
statement or any other matter. Subsidiary Motion is a motion which
depends upon or relates to another motion or follows upon some
proceedings in the House. By itself it has no meaning and is not capable of
stating the decision of the House without reference to the original motion or
proceedings of the House.

Question 63. What is an Adjournment Motion?

Answer. Adjournment Motion is the procedure for adjournment of the business of the

House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public

importance, which can be moved with the consent of the Speaker. The

Adjournment Motion, if admitted, leads to setting aside of the normal


business of the House for discussing the matter mentioned in the motion.

The purpose of an Adjournment Motion is to take the Government to task for

a recent act of omission or commission having serious consequences. Its

adoption is regarded a sort of censure of the Government.

Question 64. What is Zero Hour?

Answer. The time immediately following the Question Hour and laying of papers and

before any listed business is taken up in the House has come to be popularly

known as `zero hour'. As it starts around 12 noon, this period is

euphemistically termed as `zero hour'. For raising matters during the so-

called zero hour in Lok Sabha, members give notice before 10 a.m.

everyday to the Speaker stating clearly the subject which they consider to

be important and wish to raise in the House. It is, of course, for the

Speaker to allow or not allow raising of such matters in the House. The

term `zero hour' is not formally recognised in parliamentary procedures.

Question 65. What is a Motion of No-confidence?

Answer. Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha
lays down the procedure for moving a Motion of No-Confidence in the
Council of Ministers. The usual format of such a motion is that "this House
expresses its want of confidence in the Council of Ministers". A Motion of No-
confidence need not set out any grounds on which it is based. Even when
grounds are mentioned in the notice and read out in the House, they do not
form part of the No-Confidence Motion.

Question 66. What is No-Day-Yet-Named Motion?

Answer The term 'Motion' in its wider sense means any proposal submitted to the
House for obtaining its decision. Any matter of general public interest can
be the subject matter of a motion. If the Speaker admits notice of a motion
and no date is fixed for the discussion on such a motion, it is immediately
notified in the Bulletin Part II under the heading `No-Day-Yet-Named
Motion'. The date and time is allotted for discussion on such motions by the
Speaker, in consultation with the Leader of the House after taking into
consideration the state of business before the House.

Question 67. What is a Resolution?

Answer .A Resolution is the formal expression of opinion by the House. It may be


in the form of a declaration of opinion, or a recommendation; or may be in
the form so as to record either approval or disapproval by the House of an
act or policy of Government, or convey a message; or commend, urge or
request an action; or call attention to a matter or situation for consideration
by Government; or in such other form as the Speaker may consider
appropriate. Every question, when agreed to, by the House, assumes the
form of either a resolution or an order.

Resolutions may be categorised as: Private Members' Resolutions,


Government Resolutions and Statutory Resolutions. The Private Members
Resolutions are moved by a member (not a Minister); the Government
Resolutions are moved by Ministers; and the Statutory Resolutions are
moved in pursuance of a provision contained in the Constitution or an Act of
Parliament.

Question 68. What is the President's Address?

Answer. The Constitution provides for an Address by the President to either House

or both Houses assembled together [Article 86(1)]. The Constitution

also makes incumbent upon the President to address both Houses of

Parliament assembled together at the commencement of the first session

after each general election to Lok Sabha and at the commencement of first

session each year and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons.

[Article 87(1)]. The matters referred to in the President's Address to the

Houses are discussed on a Motion of Thanks moved by a member and

seconded by another member.


Question 69. Can members raise questions on the President's Address?

Answer. No member can raise questions on the President's Address. Any action on

the part of a member which mars the occasion or creates disturbance , is

punishable by the House to which that member belongs. Discussion on matters

referred to in the President's Address takes place on a Motion of Thanks moved by

a member and seconded by another member. The scope of discussion on the

President's Address is very wide and the functioning of the entire administration is

open for discussion. The limitations inter-alia are that members should not refer to

matters which are not the direct responsibility of the Government of India, and the

name of the President should not be brought in during the debate since the

Government and not the President is responsible for the contents of the Address.

PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGES/IMMUNITIES

Question 70. What are parliamentary privileges?

Answer The term `parliamentary privilege' refers to certain rights and immunities

enjoyed by each House of Parliament and Committees of each House

collectively, and by members of each House individually, without which

they cannot discharge their functions, efficiently and effectively. The object

of parliamentary privileges is to safeguard the freedom, the authority and

the dignity of Parliament. The powers, privileges and immunities of either

House of Parliament and State Legislatures and of its Committees and

members have been laid down in articles 105 and 194 of the Constitution.

The House has the power to punish any person who commits a contempt of

the House or a breach of any of its privileges.

Question 71. Are Parliamentary privileges codified in India?


Answer. No law has so far been enacted by Parliament (and State Legislatures) in

pursuance of clause (3) of articles 105/194 of the Constitution to define the

powers, privileges and immunities available to each House and its members

and the Committees thereof. In the absence of any such law, powers,

privileges and immunities of the Houses of Parliament and State

Legislatures, and of the members and the Committees thereof, shall be

those of that House and of its members and Committees immediately before

the coming into force of section 15 of the Constitution (Forty fourth

Amendment) Act, 1978. The Constitution Forty Fourth Amendment) Act,

1978 removed the reference to the House of Commons which was there

earlier in clause 3 of articles 105 and 194.

Question 72. What is the difference between the breach of privileges and

contempt of the House?

Answer. When any of the privileges either of the members individually or of the
House in its collective capacity are disregarded or attacked by any
individual or authority, the offence is called a `breach of privilege'.

Contempt of the House may be defined generally as "any act or omission


which obstructs or impedes either House of Parliament in the performance of
its functions, or which obstructs or impedes any member or officers of such
House in the discharge of his duty, or which has a tendency, directly or
indirectly, to produce such results. Whereas all breaches of privilege are
contempts of the House whose privileges are violated, a person may be
guilty of a contempt of the House even though he does not violate any of
the privilege of the House, e.g. when he disobeys an order to attend a
committee or publishes reflections on the character or conduct of a member
in his capacity as a member.

Question 73. What is the procedure regarding a question of privilege?


Answer. A question of privilege may either be considered and decided by the House
itself or it may be referred to the Committee of Privileges for examination,
investigation and report.

Question 74. What is the rule relating to 'Automatic Suspension' of the member?

Answer. Rule 374A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha
provides that in the event of grave disorder occasioned by a member
coming into the well of the House or abusing the Rules of the House
persistently and wilfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or
otherwise, such member shall, on being named by the Speaker, stand
automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive
sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less.

Question 75. Does the Speaker have Power to adjourn the House or suspend the
sitting?

Answer: Under Article 375,in the case of a grave disorder arising in the House, the
Speaker may, if he thinks it necessary to do so, adjourn the House or
suspend any sitting for a time to be named by him.

Question 76. What is Point of Order?

Answer: A point of order shall relate to the interpretation or enforcement of those


rules or such Articles of the Constitution as regulate the business of the
House and shall raise a question which is within the cognizance of the
Speaker.

A point of order may be raised in relation to the business before the House
at the moment provided that the Speaker may permit a member to raise a
point of order during the interval between the termination of one item of
business and the commencement of another if it relates to maintenance of
order in, or arrangement of business before, the House. A member may
formulate a Point of Order and the Speaker shall decide whether the point
raised is a point of order and if so give his decision thereon, which shall be
final.

Question 77. What is the MPLAD Scheme?


Answer. The Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) was
introduced in 1993. Under this scheme a member of Lok Sabha has the choice
to suggest to the Head of the District, development works to the tune of Rs. two
crore per year, to be taken up in his/her constituency.

CONTACTING LOK SABHA

Question 79. Where do I get more information on members of Lok Sabha?

Answer. The Lok Sabha Web site (http://loksabha.nic.in)


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1] Period of Election indicates the first and the last day of the poll of the election.
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