Parliament – Sessions, Procedures, Motions, Committees etc

What is an adjournment motion, moved by Congress MPs in Parliament?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Motions and other parliamentary procedures and related provisions

Mains level: Adjournment motion, its significance and criticism and various parliamentary procedures


What’s the news?

  • In the second day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, the Lok Sabha witnessed adjournment proceedings as Opposition parties demanded an urgent discussion on the alleged sexual assault of women in Manipur amid the ongoing ethnic violence in the state.

Central idea

  • Congress MPs moved adjournment motions, urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the matter and uphold the government’s constitutional commitment to protect religious minorities and Scheduled Tribes. This article will delve into the concept of adjournment motions and their differences from other parliamentary motions raised in Indian Parliament.

What is an adjournment motion?

  • An adjournment motion is a parliamentary procedure used to raise an issue of urgent public importance that requires immediate discussion and debate.
  • It allows Members of Parliament (MPs) to interrupt the regular business of the house and seek the attention of the entire house on a specific matter that is deemed pressing and critical.
  • Adjournment motion can be moved in the Lok Sabha by any member who seeks the Speaker’s consent to discuss a definite matter of urgent public importance.
  • The notice for an adjournment motion must be given before 10 am to the Lok Sabha Secretary-General on the day it is to be raised.

Parliamentary Procedures in Indian Parliament

  • Members of Parliament in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have various procedures to draw attention to relevant issues.
  • There are four main procedures under which discussions can take place in the Lok Sabha – a debate without voting under Rule 193, a motion (with a vote) under Rule 184, an adjournment motion, and a no-confidence motion.
  • Similar measures, except no-confidence motion, also exist in the Rajya Sabha.

Rule 193: Short Duration Discussion

  • Under Rule 193 of the Lok Sabha’s rules and Rule 176 of the Rajya Sabha’s rules, Short Duration Discussions can take place.
  • These discussions require the Chairman or Speaker’s satisfaction that the matter is urgent and of sufficient public importance.
  • The Chairman or Speaker can then fix a date for discussion, allowing a time period of up to two and a half hours.
  • Disagreements over the rule to invoke led to the adjournment of the Rajya Sabha on the issue of Manipur.

Rule 184: Motion with a Vote

  • A motion on a matter of general public interest can be admitted under Rule 184 if it satisfies certain conditions.
  • The motion should not contain arguments, inferences, ironical expressions, imputations, or defamatory statements.
  • It must be restricted to a recent occurrence and cannot pertain to a matter pending before any statutory authority, commission, or court of enquiry.
  • The Speaker can allow such a motion to be raised at his own discretion, and a time period for discussion can be allotted.

Significance of the adjournment motion

  • It allows the Parliament to discuss pressing matters promptly, ensuring that critical issues do not get overlooked or delayed.
  • It serves as a tool for holding the government accountable for its actions or inactions.
  • By raising urgent matters and initiating discussions, MPs can seek clarifications, explanations, and government responses, which promotes transparency in governance.
  • The discussions resulting from an adjournment motion bring urgent matters into the public domain, raising awareness among citizens about significant issues affecting the country.
  • The government is obligated to address the concerns raised during the adjournment motion debate.
  • It provides an opportunity for the government to present its stance, actions, and plans to address the issue, thus ensuring greater accountability.
  • It empowers the Opposition to raise important issues and bring government shortcomings to the forefront.
  • It gives them a platform to voice dissent and critique government policies, fostering healthy democratic debates.

Criticisms over the adjournment motion

  • The adjournment motion, once admitted, disrupts the regular proceedings of the house.
  • Other important legislative business, debates, or bills scheduled for that session may get delayed or postponed, affecting the overall productivity of the Parliament.
  • The debate resulting from an adjournment motion can be time-consuming
  • Some critics argue that the adjournment motion overlaps with other parliamentary motions, such as the calling attention motion and the motion for an urgent discussion, which also provide opportunities to discuss urgent matters.
  • In some cases, the adjournment motion can be misused for political purposes rather than genuinely addressing urgent matters.
  • While the adjournment motion raises urgent matters and demands government attention, it does not guarantee immediate action or resolution.


  • The recent demand for an urgent discussion on the ethnic violence in Manipur through an adjournment motion resulted in the Lok Sabha’s adjournment. Parliament has various procedures to address relevant issues, each with its own set of conditions and implications. As the proceedings are set to resume, it remains to be seen how the government and Opposition parties will navigate the demands for discussion on this critical matter.

Also read:

Short Duration Discussions in Parliament

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