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Rajya Sabha
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P R E F A C E

Article 118(1) of the Constitution empowers each House of Parliament to make rules for regulating its Procedure and the Conduct of its business. Under this provision of the Constitution, Rajya Sabha adopted rules for regulating its procedure and the conduct of its business on June 2, 1964. The rules were brought into force with effect from July 1, 1964.  

2. In July 1972, the rules were amended on the recommendations of the Committee on Rules contained in its First Report presented to the House on April 10, 1972. The amendments inter alia related to the enlargement of the functions of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation so as to empower it to scrutinise rules and regulations framed under the provisions of the Constitution or Acts of Parliament. A new Committee on Government Assurances was also provided in the Rules.  

3. The Committee on Rules in its Second Report presented to the Rajya Sabha on May 2, 1979, recommended further amendments in the Rules. Some of the amendments recommended were to incorporate the existing practice in regard to the Private Members' Resolutions, asking of Short Notice Questions and procedure regarding resignation of seats in the Rajya Sabha by members. The Committee also recommended that the Rajya Sabha should have a Committee on 'Papers Laid on the Table' and members should be required to give prior intimation to the Chairman and the Minister concerned before they made allegations on the floor of the House.  

4. The Committee in its Third Report presented to the Rajya Sabha on December 2, 1981, recommended further amendments in the Rules. The important among them were that the Deputy Chairman should be made a member of the Business Advisory Committee and the Rules Committee; Private Members' Business should be transacted on any other day in the week if there is no sitting on a Friday; the Business Advisory Committee should allot time for Private Members' Business also as it did in the case of Government Business; a Private Members' resolution may be in a form other than a declaration of opinion by the Council; a motion for reference of a question of privilege may be moved by the member raising the question or any other member instead of the Leader of the Council as was the case earlier. The Committee also suggested a set of rules requiring authorities to give intimation to the Chairman, Rajya Sabha, about the arrest, detention, release, etc. of its members.  

5. The Second and the Third Reports referred to above were agreed to by the Rajya Sabha at its sitting held on December 24, 1981. While doing so, the House also modified certain recommendations of the Committee and made further amendments in the Rules. The amendments as finally agreed to by the House were brought into force by the Chairman on January 15, 1982.  

6. The Committee in its Fourth Report presented to the Rajya Sabha on March 19, 1986,  and adopted on May 14, 1986,  recommended   amendment in sub-rule (3) of Rule 25 so that instead of Bills being balloted, the names of persons in charge of the Bills would be balloted and the members securing the first ten places in the ballot would be asked to choose their Bills. It also provided that no member shall be able to take up more than one Bill for consideration in the same session. Suitable amendment in sub-rule (2) of Rule 28 was also recommended by the Committee since it felt that it was not necessary for a Bill, on which the debate had adjourned sine die, to undergo the process of ballot and instead such a Bill should have precedence over other Bills. The amendment recommended in respect of sub-rule (4) of Rule 29 was of a consequential nature. The Committee also recommended incorporation in the Rules of Procedure of a new chapter, viz., Chapter XVII C containing new Rules 212P to 212W relating to the House Committee which had been in existence since the very inception of the Rajya Sabha and had not been provided for in the main corpus of the Rules. The amendments were brought into force by the Chairman on July 1, 1986.  

7. In its Fifth Report presented to the House on  August 19, 1992 and adopted on August 20, 1992, the Committee on Rules recommended the setting up of three parliamentary Committees in Rajya Sabha, namely, (i) on Human Resource Development (ii) on Industry and (iii) on Labour with the object of enlarging and qualitatively enhancing the association of Members of Parliament with key sectors of national reconstruction so as to maximize utilisation of the rich experience and expertise of Members from both Houses in this respect. However, before this recommendation of the Committee could be given effect, the General Purposes Committee and the   Committee on Rules together considered the whole matter of the institution of a Department-related Standing Committees System de novo on February 23, 1993. The matter was further discussed at a joint sitting of the  Committees on Rules of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on March 11, 1993. As a result of these discussions, a broad consensus was arrived at that Standing Committees be set up related to various Ministries/Departments of the Union Government. Pursuant to that, the Committee in its Sixth Report presented to the House on March 24, 1993 recommended the formation of 17 Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees consisting of Members from both the Houses in the proportion of 1:2 for the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, respectively and also recommended addition of new rules 268 to 277 and the Third Schedule to the Rules of Procedure for the purpose. The Report of the Committee was adopted by the House on March 29, 1993 with some amendments and the new rules came into effect the same day. 

8. In its Seventh Report   presented to the House on February 14, 1995 the Committee  recommended amendments (i) in rule 39 for increasing the notice period for question from 10 clear days to 15 clear days (ii) in sub-rule 2(i) and 2(vii) of rule 47 to make the question pointed, specific and confined to one issue only and for reducing the limit of 150 words for a question and (iii) in sub-rule (6) and (7) of rule 90 specifying the language to be used in a Minute of Dissent to a Report of the Select Committee on Bill and empowering the Chairman of the Committee also to expunge words, phrases or expressions which are not in conformity with the revised sub-rule (6), respectively. The Committee also recommended the incorporation of new rule-51 A for putting a limit on number of questions for oral and written answer on a day. The Report of the Committee was adopted on May 30, 1995 with some amendments. The amendments as finally agreed to by the House were brought into force by the Chairman on June 15, 1995. 

9. In its Eighth Report  presented to the House on May 12, 2000 and adopted on May 15, 2000, the Committee recommended (i) incorporation of Special Mention in the corpus of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business and suggested new rules 180(A) to 180(E) for the purpose; (ii) amendment in the format of the notice under Rule 168 to make it more specific; (iii) addition of new sub clauses (ix)-(xviii) in rule 169 with a view to strengthening the criteria for examination/admission of the notices of motion given under rule 168; (iv) amendment in rule 267 relating to motion for suspension of rule to ensure that suspension of rule 267 is relevant to the List of Business for the day before the House; and (v) incorporation of General Purposes Committee in the corpus of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Rajya Sabha and suggested new rule 278-285 for the governance of General Purposes Committee. The amended rules came into effect from July 1, 2000. 

10. In its Ninth Report, presented to the  House  on July 20, 2004 the Committee recommended incorporation of the rules relating to the Committee on Ethics in the corpus of the Rules  of Procedure and Conduct of Business.  A  new Chapter, viz., Chapter XXIV containing  new rules 286-303 on the Committee on  Ethics   was accordingly  added for the purpose. Besides, the Committee also recommended amendment in rule 212(Q) (1)  for increasing  the strength of the  House Committee from seven  members to ten members. 

11. In its Tenth and the latest  Report  presented to the Rajya Sabha  on July 20, 2004, the Committee considered the question of restructuring  of the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees   and suggested  for the creation  of seven new  Committees, namely, (i) Health and Family Welfare (ii)  Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice (iii)  Water Resources (iv) Chemicals and Fertilizers (v) Rural Development (vi) Coal  and  Steel, and  (vii) Social Justice and  Empowerment.  Out  of these seven Committees, two   Committees, viz., Health and  Family Welfare and   Personnel and Public Grievances  and Law and Justice  were recommended  to be  placed  in Part-I  of the  Third  Schedule to the Rules of Procedure.  The Committee also suggested  for reducing the maximum strength of membership of these   Committees from 45 to 31 members, out of which ten  members would be from the Rajya Sabha  and 21 from the Lok Sabha.  The Committee, accordingly,  recommended amendments in rule 269(1) and the Third Schedule  to the Rules of Procedure. 

12.The Ninth and Tenth Reports referred to above were adopted by  the House on July 20, 2004.  The amendments  in the rules  were brought  into force by the Chairman the same day.  

13. The present edition of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business incorporates all the amendments made so far. It also contains `The Houses of Parliament (Joint Sittings and Communications) Rules' made by the President, after consultation with the Chairman of the Council of States and Speaker of the House of the People, in  exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of article 118 of the Constitution of India, at Appendix I and `the Members of Rajya Sabha (Disqualification on ground of Defection) Rules, 1985'  made by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha in terms of paragraph eight of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution which came into force with effect from the   March 18, 1986, at Appendix II.

YOGENDRA NARAIN,
Secretary-General.

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