Rule 176 vs Rule 267: What Govt agrees to, what Opp demands

  • After the government and the opposition had different ideas regarding how the discussion on the Manipur situation should be structured, the first day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament was recently derailed as a result.
  • While the government agreed for a short-duration discussion, the Opposition insisted that the Prime Minister make a suo motu statement followed by a discussion, suspending all business under Rule 267.

Motions in the Parliament

  • Motions are used in parliament by members to bring up and address topics of public concern.
  • These procedures enable members to successfully communicate their concerns in the respective Houses and assist the Parliament in adapting to the changing requirements of the public.

Different Motions in the Indian parliament

Privilege Motion

  • Submitted by a member who harbors the belief that a minister has violated the privileges of the House or one or more of its members by concealing relevant facts of a case, providing incorrect or distorted information regarding those facts, or both.
  • Aim: To censure the concerned minister.
  • Can be moved in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha as well.

Censure Motion

  • Condition: It must state the reasons for its adoption in the Lok Sabha.
  • A complaint could be filed against a single minister, a group of ministers, or the council of ministers as a whole.
  • Aim: To censure the council of ministers for specific policies and actions.
  • Moved only in Lok Sabha.

Call-Attention Motion

  • Submitted to the House of Representatives by a member in order to draw the attention of a minister to a matter of urgent public importance and to request a statement of authority from the minister regarding the matter in question.
  • Motion made in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Adjournment Motion

  • Presented in the Lok Sabha with the intention of drawing the attention of the House to a specific issue that is of paramount importance to the general public.
  • Has an element of censure against the government.
  • Moved only in Lok Sabha.

No-Day-Yet-Named Motion

  • Admitted by the Speaker but no date has been fixed for its discussion.
  • Can be moved in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha as well.

No Confidence Motion

  • By voting in favor of a motion of no confidence, the Lok Sabha has the ability to oust the ministry from office.
  • Needs the support of 50 members to be admitted.
  • Moved only in Lok Sabha.

Motion of Thanks

  • The president gives an address at the beginning of each new fiscal year and at the beginning of the first session that follows an election for general office.
  • The "Motion of Thanks" is the name of the motion that is being debated in both chambers of parliament regarding this address given by the president.
  • It must be passed in the House. 

Cut Motions

  • A unique authority granted to members of the Lok Sabha, which enables them to vote against a demand that is being considered for specific allocation by the government in the Finance Bill as a component of the Demand for Grants.
  • If it is passed, it has the same effect as a vote of no confidence, and if the government is unable to muster the required number of votes in the lower house, it is required to step down in accordance with the rules of the House.
  • Types of Cut motions:
  • Policy Cut Motion: It proposes that the total amount of the demand be lowered to Re.1 (which represents disapproval of the policy that is the basis of the demand).
  • Economy Cut Motions: In it, there will be a reduction of a certain amount in the amount of demand that is placed.
  • Token Cut Motions: It expresses a particular complaint by suggesting that the total amount of the demand be decreased by Rs. 100.
  • Moved only in Lok Sabha.

Closure Motion

  • A member made a motion to end the lengthy debate that was going on about the issue that was before the House.
  • In the event that the motion is accepted by the House, debate on the issue will immediately come to an end, and the matter will be put to a vote.
  • Types of closure motions:
  • Simple Closure: When a member makes a motion stating that the "matter having been sufficiently discussed be now put to vote," that counts as a vote.
  • Closure by Compartments: Before the start of the debate, the clauses of a bill or the sections of a lengthy resolution are organized into parts according to this procedure. The whole section is put up for a vote after the discussion, which covers the whole section.
  • Kangaroo Closure: Under this system, only the most significant clauses are subjected to debate and voting, while the less significant clauses are simply ignored and counted as having been approved.
  • Guillotine Closure: It is known as a one when, as a result of a lack of time, the previously undiscussed clauses of a bill or a resolution are also put to a vote alongside those that have been discussed.

Point of Order

  • A motion that is made whenever the normal rules of procedure are not followed during the proceedings of the House.
  • It has to do with the interpretation or enforcement of the Rules of the House or the articles of the Constitution that regulate the business of the House, and it has to bring up a question that is within the Speaker's purview of responsibility.
  • Raised by an opposition member in order to control the government.
  • Suspends the proceedings before the House - hence an extraordinary measure.
  • Regarding a point of order, debate is not permitted at any time.

Special Mention

  • A matter that is not a point of order and that is not permitted to be brought up during question hour, half-an-hour discussion, short duration discussion, or under an adjournment motion, calling attention notice, or under any other rule of the House may be brought up under the special mention in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Its counterpart in the Lok Sabha is a procedural device known as "Notice (Mention) Under Rule 377," and it has the same function.

Rule 267 and Rule 176

  • Rule 267 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States addresses the suspension of rules in the context of the organization’s deliberations.
    • The following is an excerpt from what it says: “Any member may, with the consent of the Chairman, move that any rule may be suspended in its application to a motion related to the business listed before the Council of that day, and if the motion is carried, the rule in question shall be suspended for the time being:
    • “Provided further that specific provision already exists for suspension of a rule under a particular chapter of the Rules, and this rule shall not apply where such a provision already exists,” the rule states.
  • Short-duration discussion, is a brief discussion not exceeding two-and-a-half hours under Rule 176.
    • It says that “any member desirous of raising discussion on a matter of urgent public importance may give notice in writing to the Secretary-General specifying clearly and precisely the matter to be raised:
    • With the following proviso, the notice must be accompanied by an explanation note that details the motivations behind initiating a discussion on the topic at hand:
    • Further, the notice must be accompanied by the signatures of at least two other members in order to be considered valid.”
    • Once the Chairman admits the notice, the rules say he, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, will fix the date on which such matter may be taken up for discussion and allow such time for discussion, not exceeding two and a half hours.
  • Therefore, it means that a short-duration discussion under Rule 176 can be taken up immediately, a few hours later, the next day or can be fixed for a later date and time.
  • But the rule says there shall be no formal motion or voting under a short duration discussion.
  • According to the rule, the member who has given notice has the ability to make a brief statement, and the Minister is obligated to respond in a timely manner.

The expert views over Rule 267 and Rule 167

  • Experts say opposition parties had been mistakenly using Rule 267 as an equivalent to the adjournment motion in Lok Sabha.
  • In the event of a motion to adjourn, which is regulated by Rules 56-63 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha, the discussion will be based on a motion.
    • According to the rule, “with the consent of the Speaker, a motion for an adjournment of the business of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific matter of urgent public importance may be made.” This is the definition of the term “adjournment motion.”
    • And the rules say “not more than one such motion shall be made at the same sitting.