Rules panel deliberates upon automatic suspension of members who enter well of the house

Rules panel deliberates upon automatic suspension of members who enter well of the house
Rules panel deliberates upon automatic suspension of members who enter well of the house

Members of the Lok Sabha’s Rules Committee on Friday deliberated on “automatic suspension” of MPs who enter the well of the house or willfully obstruct its business by shouting slogans despite being repeatedly warned by the Chair.
The discussions come at a time when regular disruptions of the house have become the norm.

During the deliberations, a recommendation was made to automatically suspend MPs who enter the well of the house or wilfully obstruct its business for five consecutive sittings, three or maybe one, a source who was present in the meeting said.

Various MPs from opposition parties who are members of the committee were not present in the meeting.

It was discussed in the meeting chaired by the Lok Sabha speaker.

Congress representative suggested that the Lok Sabha’s Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business should be revisited from the next term of the lower house, which will begin in May next year, after general elections.

Later TMC MP Saugata Roy, who did not attend the meeting, but was part of the panel, said he will oppose any such suggestion.

Miffed over MPs holding placards inside the Lok Sabha and creating a ruckus, Mahajan called a meeting of the committee on Thursday.

Members have suggested an amendment of Rule 374A (1) of the Lok Sabha’s Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, which deals with suspension of the member.

Those members repeatedly asked by the Speaker to go to their own seats and warned shall be automatically suspended rather than being named by the speaker, it was proposed.

At present, the rules state that such members will only be suspended after they are named by the Speaker.

“…In the event of a grave disorder occasioned by a member coming into the well of the house or abusing the rules of the house persistently and willfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or otherwise, despite being repeatedly asked by the Speaker to go to their seats and warned, such member shall stand automatically suspended from the service of the house for five consecutive sittings or remainder of the session whichever is less,” according to draft circulated in the Rules Committee meeting.

Once the warning has been issued by the speaker, the house would have to be adjourned for a reasonable period of time to enable the secretary general to enlist the names of members, the report adds.

There were differences among members of the committee over the period of suspension.

The Rules Committee functions as an advisory body to the speaker. It considers matters of procedure and conduct of business and makes recommendations for any amendment or addition to the rules. A proposal for an amendment to the rules can be made by any member of the House or by the presiding officer or committee.

The proposals — after being examined by the Lok Sabha Secretariat and approved by the chairperson (the speaker) — are placed before the Committee for consideration in the form of memoranda.

Article 118(1) of the Constitution provides that each House of Parliament may make rules to regulate the procedure and conduct of its business.

On April 1, 1950, the speaker made an announcement in the House regarding the appointment of a committee to examine suggestions that might be received from members from time to time for amendment of the Rules. PTI