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Rules To Admit Questions: Parliament

Rules To Admit Questions: Parliament

A question raised by a Member of Parliament was disallowed “because of national interest.

  • Also, over the last few sessions, MPs have often alleged their questions have been disallowed.
  • In both Houses, elected members enjoy the right to seek information from various ministries and departments in the form of starred questions, unstarred questions, short notice questions and questions to private members.
  • The first hour of every sitting is usually devoted to asking and answering questions in both Houses, and this is referred to as the ‘Question Hour’.
  • The Rajya Sabha Chairman or the Lok Sabha Speaker has the authority to decide whether a question or a part is or is not admissible under the norms of the House, and disallow any question or a part.

Rules to Admit Questions:

In Rajya Sabha:

  • The admissibility of questions in Rajya Sabha is governed by Rules 47-50 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States.
  • Among various norms, the question “shall be pointed, specific and confined to one issue only”.

In Lok Sabha:

  • In Lok Sabha, once the notice for questions is received, ballots determine priority.
  • The questions are examined for admissibility under Rules 41-44 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.
  • In Lok Sabha, questions that are not admitted include: those that are repetitive or have been answered previously; and matters that are pending for judgment before any court of law or under consideration before a Parliamentary Committee.

Categories of Questions:

Starred Question:

  • The member desires an oral answer from the minister. Such a question is distinguished by the MP with an asterisk. The answer can also be followed by supplementary questions from members.

UnStarred Question:

  • The MP seeks a written answer, which is deemed to be laid on the table of the House by the concerned minister.

Short Notice Question:

  • These are on an urgent matter of public importance, and an oral answer is sought. For asking such a question, a notice of less than 10 days is prescribed as the minimum period.

Question to Private Member:

  • A question can be addressed to a private member under Rule 40 of Lok Sabha’s Rules of Procedure, or under Rule 48 of Rajya Sabha’s Rules, provided that the question deals with a subject relating to some Bill, resolution or other matter for which that member is responsible.

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