Parliamentary Debates of Limited Duration

  • The opposition requested that all other business be suspended under Rule 267 to examine the Manipur problem, while the government chose a “Short Duration Discussion” under Rule 176.
  • Understanding the subtleties of these regulations and their repercussions is critical for productive legislative debate.

Suspension of Business Overview:

  • Rule 267 empowers Rajya Sabha MPs to suspend all listed business and engage in debates on national issues.
  • Suspension and Consent: According to the Rajya Sabha Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, any member may seek the Chairman’s consent to suspend the application of a rule pertaining to the day’s listed business.
  • Temporary Suspension: If the motion is approved, the rule in question is temporarily suspended.

Short-Duration Discussions in accordance with Rule 176

  • Brief Discussions: Rule 176 allows for short-duration Rajya Sabha debates of up to two and a half hours.
  • Notice and Explanatory Note: MPs who wish to raise pressing public issues must provide the Secretary-General with written notice, as well as an explanatory note supporting the discussion.
  • Scheduling and Procedure: The discussion is scheduled without formal motions or voting by the Chairman, in collaboration with the Leader of the Council.
  • Statement and Response: The member who issued the notice makes a brief statement, which is followed by a brief response from the Minister.

Controversy Over Rule 267

  • The opposition is dissatisfied since their notices under Rule 267 have not been handled recently.
  • Previous debates: Several debates on various themes have occurred in the past under this rule during the tenures of several Chairmen.
  • Misuse of Rule: According to experts, Rule 267 is being abused as a replacement for the adjournment motion in Lok Sabha, where discussions involve motions including aspects of censure that do not apply in Rajya Sabha.

Why are we debating this?

  • Parliamentary discussions are extremely valuable in addressing pressing public issues and discussing subjects that are essential to the nation.
  • They give a forum for representatives from various political parties to engage in educated debate, resulting in more effective decision-making and better government.
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