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

Source: The post is based on the article “Rule 176 vs Rule 267: What Govt agrees to, what Opp demands”  published in Indian Express on 22nd July 2023

What is the News?

The Parliament transacted no business amid opposition parties’ demand for a discussion on the ongoing violence in Manipur.

The government agreed for a ‘short-term’ discussion under Rule 176.But the Opposition pressed for suspending all business under Rule 267 and that the Prime Minister make a suo motu statement followed by a discussion.

What is Rule 176?

Rule 176 allows for a Short-duration discussion not exceeding two-and-a-half hours on a matter of urgent public importance.

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.

The notice shall be accompanied by an explanatory note stating reasons for raising discussion on the matter in question and it must be supported by the signatures of at least two other members.

Once the Chairman admits the notice, the chairman in consultation with the Leader of the Council, will fix the date on which such a matter may be taken up for discussion and allow such time for discussion not exceeding two and a half hours.

The rule says there shall be no formal motion or voting under a short duration discussion.

What is Rule 267?

According to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Rajya Sabha, Rule 267 relates to suspension of rules.

Rule 267 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.”

Simply put, under this rule, Rajya Sabha MPs can give a written notice to suspend all listed business and discuss an issue of importance the country is facing.

According to Parliament records, the last time the Rajya Sabha witnessed a discussion under Rule 267 was on November 16, 2016.The issue was demonetisation.

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