Naidu calls for automatic suspension of unruly members

RSTV Bureau
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu delivering a Public Lecture on Importance of Legislatures, organised by PRS Legislative Research, in New Delhi on December 11, 2017.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu delivering a Public Lecture on Importance of Legislatures, organised by PRS Legislative Research, in New Delhi on December 11, 2017.

Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu Monday pitched for automatic suspension of members who rush to the well of the House to disrupt proceedings and said the names of disruptors who break rules should be put in the public domain.

He also said ensuring quorum in the House was not the responsibility of the government and the ruling party only and the opposition should also pitch in.

Delivering a lecture on the “importance of legislatures” here, Naidu said to address the “menace” of members rushing to the well of the House, there was a need for specific provisions in the rules of business for “automatic suspension” of those who do so.

He said a consensus in this regard needed to be evolved taking inspiration from a resolution adopted by the Rajya Sabha in 1997.

Both Houses of Parliament often witness opposition members rushing to the well and raising slogans against the government and its policies. Proceedings are often adjourned amid din.

The vice president said that while the presiding officers need to enforce the rules of business to ensure smooth functioning of the Houses, “stopping members from entering the well of the House has come to be an intractable issue”.

“I suggest that legislatures may display the names of the members in public domain with an observation that they have violated the rules in disregard of the directions of the Chair and thereby adversely impacting the functioning of the House,” he told the gathering.

Referring to the norm of having a quorum or minimum number of members present in the House to run it, he said while according to convention, maintaining it was considered the responsibility of the government and the ruling party, other parties should also pitch in.

“In my view, it is worthwhile to consider that norms on minimum attendance are prescribed and adhered to,” Naidu said.

He also suggested ranking legislatures based on their performance along the lines of ministries and departments.

“If the executive wings at various levels are being ranked within the country… Why cannot we rank the legislatures based on their functioning and effectiveness? We need to determine the parameters, of course, to define the effectiveness of legislative bodies and discuss the modalities of this process,” he said.