The admissibility of notice given by Members in respect of questions in Rajya Sabha is governed by Rules 47-50 of Rules and Procedure and Conduct of Council of States (Rajya Sabha).

As per Rule 47, the following are the conditions of admissibility of a Question:

i. it shall be pointed, specific and confined to one issue only;

ii. it shall not bring in any name or statement not strictly necessary to make the question intelligible;

iii. if it contains a statement the member shall make himself responsible for the accuracy of the statement;

iv. it shall not contain arguments, inferences, ironical expressions, imputations, epithets or defamatory statements;

v. it shall not ask for an expression of opinion or the solution of an abstract legal question or of a hypothetical proposition;

vi. it shall not ask as to the character or conduct of any person except in his official or public capacity;

vii. it shall not exceed 100 words;

viii. it shall not relate to a matter which is not primarily the concern of the Government of India;

ix. it shall not ordinarily ask for information on matters which are under the consideration of a Parliamentary Committee;

x. it shall not ask about proceedings in a Parliamentary Committee which have not been placed before the Council by a report from the Committee;

xi. it shall not reflect on the character or conduct of any person whose conduct can only be challenged on a substantive motion;

xii. it shall not make or imply a charge of a personal character;

xiii. it shall not raise questions of policy too large to be dealt within the limits of an answer to a question;

xiv. it shall not repeat in substance questions already answered or to which an answer has been refused;

xv. it shall not ask for information on trivial matters;

xvi. it shall not ordinarily seek information on matters of past history;

xvii. it shall not require information set forth in accessible documents or in ordinary works of reference;

xviii. it shall not raise matters under the control of bodies or persons not primarily responsible to the Government of India;

xix. it shall not ask for information on a matter which is under adjudication by a court of law having jurisdiction in any part of India;

xx. it shall not relate to a matter with which a Minister is not officially connected;

xxi. it shall not refer discourteously to a friendly foreign country;

xxii. it shall not seek information about matters which are in their nature secret.

As per Rule 48 in matters which are or have been the subject of correspondence between the Government of India and the Government of a State, no question shall be asked except as to matters of fact, and the answer shall be confined to a statement of fact.

Questions seeking information on matters falling within the exclusive domain of the States and for which the State Government is responsible are not admitted. However, when a State is under the President’s Rule, all Questions pertaining to matters falling within the sphere of that State are admitted.

Usually the following types of questions are admitted for written answer , that is, as Unstarred Questions:

i. questions seeking information of statistical nature;

ii. questions seeking information in great detail;

iii. questions raising matters of local interest;

iv. questions relating to strength of staff in Government offices of Departments and representation in the service of communities protected under the Constitution;

v. questions to which prima facie there could be no scope for Supplementaries;

vi. questions asking for statements to be laid on the table; and

vii. questions of interest only to a limited section of the people.

These, however, are only illustrative of the types of questions which may be admitted as Unstarred. Each question, however, is considered on its merit.

For Rules of Procedure relating to Questions click here

For Directions of Chairman relating to Questions click here