To understand the functioning of Indian Parliament, the aspirants of Civil Services IAS Exam should have proper understanding of the various terms which are commonly used during the proceedings of the Parliament. Such understandings of Parliamentary terms are very important in regard to UPSC IAS Prelims as well as IAS Mains examinations which will help Civil Services aspirants to present their answers in a proper manner.
Here, we have provided proper definition or explanation of the Parliamentary terms which have some significant use and assigned for some specific place during the functioning of Parliament:
“Money Bill”: A Bill containing only provisions dealing with all or any of the matters specified in sub-clauses (a) to (g) of Clause (1) of article 110 of the Constitution. Such a Bill cannot be introduced except on the recommendation of the President and a Bill making such provisions cannot be introduced in Rajya Sabha. [Articles 109, 110 and 117]
“Motion”: It is a formal proposal made to the House by a member that the House do something, order something to be done or express an opinion with regard to some matter, and is so phrased that, if adopted with purport to express the judgement or will of the House. All motions moved in the House are classified into three broad categories namely ‘Substantive’, ‘Substitute’ and ‘Subsidiary’ Motions, which are defined in the succeeding paragraphs.
(i) Substantive Motion: It is a self-contained independent proposal submitted for the approval of the House and drafted in such a way as to be capable of expressing a decision of the House, e.g., all Resolutions are substantive motions.
(ii) Substitute Motion: Motions moved in substitution of the original motion for taking into consideration a policy or situation or statement or any other matter. Such motions, though drafted in such a way as to be capable of expressing an opinion by themselves are not strictly speaking, substantive motions inasmuch as they depend upon the original motion.
(iii) Subsidiary Motion: It is a motion which depends upon or relates to another motion or follows upon some proceedings in the House. By itself it has no meaning and is not capable of stating the decision of the House without reference to the original motion or proceedings of the House. Subsidiary Motions are further divided into:(a) Ancillary Motion (b) Superseding Motion (c) Amendment
(a) Ancillary Motion.—A motion which is recognised by the practice of the House as the regular way of proceeding with various kinds of business. The following are examples of ancillary motions:—
(i) That the Bill be taken into consideration.
(ii) That the Bill be passed.
(b) Superseding Motion.—A motion which though independent in form, is moved in the course of debate on another question and seeks to supersede that question. In that class fall all the dilatory motions. The following motions are superseding motions in relation to the motion for taking into consideration a Bill—
(i)That the Bill be re-committed to a Select Committee.
(i)That the Bill be re-committed to a Joint Committee of the Houses.
(i)That the Bill be re-circulated for eliciting further opinion thereon.
(ii)That the consideration of the Bill or the debate on the Bill be adjourned sine die or to some future date.
(c) Amendment.—A subsidiary motion which interposes a new process of question and decision between the main question and its decision. Amendments may be to the clause of a Bill, to a Resolution or to a Motion, or to an amendment to a clause of a Bill, Resolution or Motion. The object of an amendment is either to modify a question before the House with a view to increasing its acceptability, or to present to the House a different proposition as an alternative to the original question. [Direction 41]
“Motion of Thanks”: A formal motion moved in the House expressing its gratitude for the Address delivered by the President under article 87(1) of the Constitution to both Houses of Parliament assembled together. It provides an opportunity for the discussion of the matters referred to in the Address. [Article 87(1) and Rule 17]
“Naming a Member”: The drawing of attention of the House by the Speaker to the conduct of a member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business thereof, with a view to action being taken to suspend him from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session. [Rule 374] However, in the event of grave disorder occasioned by a member coming into the well of the House or abusing the rules of the House persistently and wilfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or otherwise, such member shall, on being named by the Speaker, stand automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less. [Rule 374 A]
“Order, order”: The Speaker sometimes says this to call the House to order, or to ask the House to hear the Chair or a member in possession of the floor. Generally, this is done under various circumstances, some of which are noted below:—
(i)If the member seeking to intervene is not allowed to interrupt.
(ii)If the member speaking is found to be irrelevant.
(iii)If a member rises to speak when he should not.
(iv)If a member is in any manner disorderly.
(v)If there is an occasion for the Speaker to speak on a matter of procedure at any time.
“Ordinance”: A law made by the President in exercise of the powers vested in him by article 123 of the Constitution. [Article 123]
“Panel of Chairmen”: The panel of ten members of Lok Sabha nominated by the Speaker, anyone of whom may preside over the House in the absence of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker when so requested by the Speaker or in his absence by the Deputy Speaker. [Rule 9]
“Papers laid on the Table”:
(i) Means the papers or documents laid on the Table of the House for the purpose of bringing them on the record of the House by a Minister or by a private member or by the Secretary-General with the permission of the Speaker in pursuance of the provisions of the Constitution or the Rules of Procedure or Directions by the Speaker or an Act of Parliament and the Rules and Regulations made there under. All papers so laid on the Table are either printed as part of the proceedings of the House or placed in the Library.
(ii) A member wishing to raise any point regarding delay in laying or any other matter about a paper to be laid on the Table should through a written communication refer it to the Committee on Papers laid on the Table and not raise it in the House. [Rule 305C]
“Point of order”:
(i) A point relating to the interpretation or enforcement of the Rules of Procedure or such articles of the Constitution as regulate the business of the House, raised in the House for the decision of the Chair.
(ii) As soon as a point of order is raised, the member who is in possession of the floor should give way and resume his seat.
(iii) A member should not raise a point of order—
(a) to ask for information; or
(b) to explain his position; or
(c) when a question on any motion is being put to the House; or
(d) which may be hypothetical; or (e) that Division Bells did not ring or were not heard.
(iv) The decision of the Speaker as to whether a point raised is a point of order is final. [Rule 376]
(v) The following procedure should be followed for raising points of order:
(a) A member who has a point of order should stand up and say “point of order”. He should not proceed to formulate it until the member is identified by Chair. Only after he has been identified, he should proceed to speak on his point of order;
(b) While formulating his point of order a member should quote the specific rule or provision of Constitution relating to procedure of the House which may have been ignored or neglected or violated;
(c) No member should rise or speak either standing or sitting, when Speaker is on his feet. The Speaker should be heard in silence and any member wanting to speak should rise only after the Speaker has sat down and he has called the member to speak;
(d) Matters on which the Speaker cannot give any relief should not be the subject of a point of order, should a member desire to have a clarification from a Minister or object to any statement which a Minister might have made, he should say so in the House with the permission of the Speaker and should not raise it in the garb of a point of order.
“Precincts of the House”: Means and includes the Chamber, the Lobbies, the Galleries and except for the purposes of rule 374, the following places in Parliament House Estate:—
(i) The Central Hall and its Lobbies;
(ii) Members’ Waiting Rooms;
(iii) Committee Rooms;
(iv) Parliament Library;
(v) Members’ Refreshment Rooms, Dining Rooms and Banquet Hall;
(vi) Lok Sabha Offices located in Parliament House, Parliament House Annexe, Parliament Library Building and Outer Reception Offices of Parliament House and Parliament House Annexe;
(vii) Corridors and passages connecting or leading to the various rooms referred to above; and
(viii) Parliament House Estate and approaches to the Parliament House and Parliament House Annexe.
Explanation—‘Parliament House Estate’ includes—
(a) all buildings, structures, installations, lawns and vacant land adjoining Parliament House, Parliament House Annexe and Outer Reception Office; and
(b) plot No. 118 (between Red Cross Road, Raisina Road and Parliament House) and plot No. 115 where now Parliament Library Building is located (between Talkatora Road, Pant Marg and Parliament House) which are under the control of the Speaker. [Rule 2 and Direction 124]
A member can remain within the ‘Precincts of the House’ when the House or any Committee of which he is a member, is sitting and for a reasonable time before or after that. If a Member wants to remain there beyond an hour after House or Committee has adjourned to meet on a subsequent day, he has to seek the specific permission of the Speaker for the purpose. Permission given to a member to remain within precincts of the House can be withdrawn by the Speaker at any time. The precincts of the House cannot be used by members for any demonstration, dharna, strikes, fasts or for the purpose of performing any religious ceremony.
It is not permissible to use the Chamber of the House for any purpose other than the sittings of the House. The Speaker has ruled that ‘No Member is allowed to escort under any circumstances, inside the Chamber of Lok Sabha, any nonmember, including near relatives, ex-members, or members of the other House, before or after the sitting of the House and that under no circumstances the Lok Sabha Chamber should be used by anyone for holding a press conference or for briefing the press correspondent etc.’ 89 Except for the Security Staff, who take possession of the Chamber, none is permitted to remain in the Lok Sabha Chamber after the House rises for the day.
“Proposing the Question”-
(i) When a member moving a certain motion has concluded his speech, the Chair proposes the question to which the motion relates in the following form: — ‘Motion moved’: and reads the text of the motion.
(ii) The discussion on the question commences after the question has been proposed by the Chair. [Rule 365]
“Private Member”: Means a member other than a Minister. [Rule 2]
“Prorogation”: The termination of a session of the House by an order made by the President under article 85(2) (a) of the Constitution. [Article 85]
“Putting the Question”: When debate on a question is closed, the Speaker, rising from the Chair, states or reads the question to the House, beginning with
“The Question is, that”. [Rule 364]
“Question Chart”: lt is the chart circulated to members, along with the summons for a session. It indicates the first and the last days for receiving notices of questions for the days on which there is Question Hour and the dates for holding ballots.
“Question Hour”: The first hour of a sitting of the House normally allotted for asking and answering of questions.
“Question of Privilege”: A question involving a breach of privilege either of a member or of the House or of a Committee thereof or a contempt of the House. [Rule 222]
“Quorum”: The minimum number of members required to be present at a sitting of the House or the Committee for valid transaction of its business. The quorum to constitute a sitting of the House is one-tenth of the total number of members of the House and in respect of a Committee it is one-third of the total number of members of the Committee. [Article 100 (3) and Rule 259 (1)]
“Resolution”: A self-contained independent proposal submitted for the approval of the House and drafted in such a way as to be capable of expressing a decision of the House. A resolution may be in the form of a declaration of opinion; or a recommendation; or may be in a form so as to record either approval or disapproval by the House of an act or policy of Government; or convey a message; or commend urge or request an action; or call attention to a matter or situation for consideration by Government; or in such other form as the Speaker may consider appropriate. [Rule 171]
“Roll of Members”: A register in which newly elected members sign, after making and subscribing the oath or affirmation and before taking their seats for the first time in the House. [Rule 6]
“Session”: A session of Lok Sabha comprises the period commencing from the date and time mentioned in the order of the President summoning Lok Sabha, and ending with the day on which the President prorogues or dissolves Lok Sabha.
“Sitting of the House”: A sitting of the House is duly constituted when it is presided over by the Speaker or Deputy Speaker or any other member competent to preside over a sitting of the House under the Constitution or the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha. [Rule 11]
“Short Notice Question”: A question relating to a matter of public importance of an urgent character asked with notice shorter than ten clear days. [Rule 54]
“Starred Question”: A question to which a member wishes to have an oral answer on the floor of the House and which is distinguished by an asterisk. [Rule 36]
“Statutory Resolution”: A resolution in pursuance of a provision in the Constitution or an Act of Parliament. [Direction 9B]
“Subordinate Legislation”: Rules, regulations or orders having the force of law, framed by the executive or other subordinate authority in pursuance of the power conferred on it by the Constitution or delegated to it by an Act of Parliament.
“Summons”: An official communication issued by the Secretary-General of Lok Sabha to the members of Lok Sabha informing them of the place, date and time of commencement of a session of Lok Sabha. [Rule 3]
“Suspension from the service of the House”: When a member is suspended from the service of the House under Rule 374 or Rule 374A, the following consequences arise from his suspension and remain in force during the period of his suspension:—
(i) He cannot enter the Chamber, the Inner Lobby and Galleries.
(ii) He stands suspended from sittings of Parliamentary Committees of which he may be a member. Notices of sittings of Committees held during the period of his suspension are not sent to him.
(iii) No item is put down in the List of Business in his name.
(iv) No notice tabled by him is acceptable during the period of his suspension.
(v) Notices tabled by a member prior to his suspension from the service of the House are not admitted or included in the List of Business or List of Questions or List of Amendments or List of Motions for reduction of Demands for Grants, etc. during the period of his suspension. Questions from such a member which have already appeared in the List of Questions for the sitting held during the period of his suspension are removed from those Lists through corrigendum.
(vi) He cannot vote at election to Committee held during the period of his suspension.
(vii) He is not entitled to daily allowance if he is suspended from the service of the House for the remainder of the Session as his stay at the place of duty cannot be regarded as “residence on duty” under section 2(d) of Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954. However, if he is suspended for a specific period during a session, he is entitled to daily allowance for each day of residence on duty at Delhi. [Rule 374 and 374A]
“Table of the House”: This table is just in front of the desk of the Secretary-General below the Speaker’s Chair. Papers which are required to be laid on the Table of the House are deemed to be placed on this table. During sittings of the House the Roll of Members is kept on this table.
“Unstarred Question”: A question placed on the List of Questions for written answer. The written answer to such a question is deemed to have been laid on the Table at the end of the Question Hour. [Rule 39]
“Vote on Account”: A grant made by Lok Sabha in advance in respect of the estimated expenditure of the Government of India for a part of a financial year pending the voting of Demands for Grants for the financial year. A Motion 93 for Vote on Account is dealt with in the same way as if it were a demand for grant. [Article 116 and Rule 214]
“Withdrawal of member from the House”: The Speaker in exercise of his disciplinary powers may direct any member guilty of disorderly conduct to withdraw from the House. The member so ordered to withdraw is required to do so forthwith and remain absent for the remainder of that day’s sitting. [Rule 373]