Popular Parliamentary Concepts
Zero Hour: This period follows the ‘Question Hour’ and it normally begins at noon. Usually, the members use this period to raise various issues for discussion.
Question Hour: The day’s business normally begins with the Question Hour during which question asked by the members are answered by the Minister. The different types of questions are –
- Starred Question : It is one for which an oral answer is required to be given by the Minister on the floor of the House. Supplementary question may be asked based on the Minister’s reply. The Speaker decides if a question should be answered orally or otherwise. One member can ask only one starred question in a day.
- Unstarred Question : It is one for which the Minister lays on the table a written answer. A ten day notice has to be given to ask such question and no supplementary questions can be asked with regard to such questions.
- Short Notice Question: This type of question which can be asked by members on matters of public importance of an urgent nature. It is for the speaker to decide whether the matter is of urgent nature or not. The member has also to state reasons for asking the question while serving notice.
- Cut Motions : A motion that seeks reduction in the amount of a demand presented by the govt. in known as a cut motion. Such motions are admitted at the speakers discretion. It is a device through which members can drawn the attention of the government to a specific grievance or problem. There are three types of cut motions-
- Disapproval of policy cut – which is to express disapproval of the policy underlying a particular demand, says that ‘the amount of the demand be reduced to Re. 1″.
- Economy cut asks for a reduction of the amount of the demand by a specific amount. The aim is to affect economy in the expenditure.
- Token cut is a device to ventilate specific grievances within the sphere of the government’s responsibility. The grievance has to be specified. Usually, the motion is in the form, “The amount of the demand be reduced by Rs. 100”.
Adjournment Motion: It is motion to adjourn the proceeding of the House so as to take up for discussion some matter of urgent public importance. Any member can move the motion and if more than 50 members support the demand, the speaker grants permission for the motion. The notice for such a motion has to be given before the commencement of the sitting on that day.
Calling Attention Motion: With prior permission of the speaker; a member may call the attention of a Minister to any matter of urgent public importance. The Minister may make a brief statement regarding the matter or ask for time to make a statement.
Privilege Motion: It is motion moved by a member if he feels that a minister has committed a breach of privilege of the House or of any one or more of its members by with holding facts of a case or by giving a distorted version of acts.
Points of Order: A member may raise a point of order if the proceedings of the House do not follow the rules. The presiding officer decides whether the points of order raised by the member should be allowed.
Vote on account: As there is usually gap between the presentation of the budget and its approval, the vote an account enables the govt. to draw some amount from the consolidated fund of India to meet the expenses in the intervening period.
Guillotine: On the last of the allotted days at the appointed time, the speaker puts every question necessary to dispose off all the outstanding matters in connection with the demands for grants. This is known as guillotine. The guillotine concludes the discussion and demands for grants.
Quorum: It is the minimum number of members whose presence is essential to transact the business of the House. Article 100 provides the quorum of either House shall be one tenth of the total number of members of the House.
Censure Motion: It is differs from a noconfidence motion in that the latter does not specify any ground on which it is based, while the former has to mention the charges against the govt. for which it is being moved. A censure motion can be moved against the council of Minister or an individual minister for failing to act or for some policy. Reason for the censure must be precisely inumerated. The speaker decides whether or not the motion is in order and no leave of the House is required for moving it. The govt. may at its discretion fix a date for the disucssion of the motion. If the motion is passed in the Lok Sabha the council of Minister is expected to resign.