RS mulls to change rules to address disruptions in the House

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: TDP members protest in the well of the Rajya Sabha, Feb 9, 2018. PTI/RSTV

New Delhi: TDP members protest in the well of the Rajya Sabha, Feb 9, 2018.
PTI/RSTV

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has formed a two member committee to take a comprehensive look at the Rules of Procedure and conduct of business to make the functioning of the House productive and enable passing of Bills.The committee will be headed by former secretary general Dr VK Agnihotri  with S.R. Dhaleta, a former Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Law and Justice as a member.The committee will review existing rules and procedures of the House and recommend necessary amendments.

According to article 118 (1) of the constitution, each House of Parliament may make rules for regulations, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, its procedure and the conduct of its business. The Rajya Sabha made broad rules and procedures for conducting its affairs which came into effect on July 1, 1964. BUT following loss of productive hours in recent times, members have called for amendment in the Rules.

Unlike the Lok Sabha, the Upper House does not have a provision of dismissing members causing obstructions to the proceedings. Therefore the Chairman is left with the only option of adjourning the House. In other matters like the point of order, discussion on matters of public interest and privilege notices, Lok Sabha has much more stringent rules than the Rajya Sabha. As many rules have become outdated, the committee will suggest necessary recommendations after consultations with various political parties and studying rule procedures before tabling it in the House for approval.

After taking over as Rajya Sabha Chairman, M. Venkaiah Naidu had called for reforms in the rules of the House. The Chairman also put an end to the use of colonial words while tabling papers in the House. Now with the decision to review the rules related to procedures and functioning in the Rajya Sabha, there are clear indications of tightening laws against disruptions.