Parliament – Sessions, Procedures, Motions, Committees etc

Short Duration Discussions in Parliament


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Short Duration Discussions

Mains level: Not Much

Central Idea

  • The Opposition called for the suspension of all other business under Rule 267 to discuss the Manipur issue, while the government preferred a “Short Duration Discussion” under Rule 176.
  • Understanding the nuances of these rules and their implications is essential for effective parliamentary discussions.

Rule 267: Suspension of Business

  • Overview: Rule 267 allows Rajya Sabha MPs to suspend all listed business and engage in discussions on matters of national importance.
  • Consent and Suspension: As per the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Rajya Sabha, any member can seek the Chairman’s consent to suspend the application of a rule related to the day’s listed business.
  • Temporary Suspension: If the motion receives approval, the concerned rule is temporarily suspended.

Short Duration Discussions under Rule 176

  • Brief Duration Discussions: Rule 176 facilitates short-duration discussions in Rajya Sabha, lasting up to two-and-a-half hours.
  • Notice and Explanatory Note: MPs desiring to raise urgent public matters must provide a written notice to the Secretary-General, including an explanatory note justifying the discussion.
  • Scheduling and Procedure: The Chairman, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, schedules the discussion without formal motions or voting.
  • Statement and Reply: The member who issued the notice presents a brief statement, followed by a concise reply from the Minister.

Contention Surrounding Rule 267

  • Opposition’s Discontent: The Opposition expresses discontent as their notices under Rule 267 have not been addressed recently.
  • Past Precedents: In the past, several discussions on diverse subjects occurred under this rule during different Chairmen’s tenures.
  • Misuse of Rule: Experts suggest that Rule 267 is being misused as a substitute for the adjournment motion in Lok Sabha, where discussions involve motions with elements of censure, which do not apply to Rajya Sabha.

Why discuss this?

  • Parliamentary debates hold significant value in addressing pressing public matters and discussing issues critical to the nation.
  • They provide a platform for representatives from various political parties to engage in informed discussions, leading to more effective decision-making and improved governance.

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