Panchayati Raj Institutions: Issues and Challenges

Rules for the Conduct of Business


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Rules for the Conduct of Business

Mains level : Conduct of Business in Parliament

The suspension of two members by Lok Sabha Speaker after unruly scenes in the House has brought back focus on the conduct of MPs, and related issues.

How are MP’s suspended?

  • Rule 378 of the Rules for the Conduct of Business states: “The Speaker shall preserve order and shall have all powers necessary for the purpose of enforcing own decisions.”
  • Rule 373 says: The Speaker, if is of the opinion that the conduct of any member is grossly disorderly, may direct such member to withdraw immediately from the House.
  • And any member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall remain absent during the remainder of the day’s sitting.

For recalcitrant members

For obstinately uncooperative attitude of MPs, Rule 374 says:

  • The Speaker may, if deems it necessary, name a member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and willfully obstructing the business thereof.
  • If a member is so named by the Speaker, the Speaker shall, on a motion being made forthwith put the question that the member be suspended from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session: Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated.
  • A member suspended under this rule shall forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House.

The business usual

  • In December 2018, Lok Sabha’s Rules Committee recommended automatic suspension of members who entered the well of the House or wilfully obstructed business by shouting slogans despite being repeatedly warned by the Chair.
  • However, rules aside, it is often expediency rather than principles, which shapes the stand of a party on the issue.
  • The ruling party of the day invariably insists on the maintenance of discipline, and the opposition on its right to protest.
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