LOK SABHA MPs SUSPENDED!By PRS Legislative Research

By PRS Legislative Research

Lok Sabha functioned for 74% of its scheduled time, and Rajya Sabha for 81%.

The Winter Session of Parliament was held from December 4, 2023 to December 21, 2023. Both Houses adjourned one day before the scheduled plan. Lok Sabha functioned for 74% of its scheduled time, and Rajya Sabha for 81%. 10 Bills were introduced and 17 were passed in this session.

Functioning dipped in the second week of the session
▪ On December 13, 2023, there was a security breach in Lok Sabha. This led to the both Houses getting adjourned earlier than scheduled time on that day. Parliament functioning dipped following the security breach, with opposition members asking for the government to respond to the incident.
▪ Between December 14 and 21, 100 MPs were suspended from Lok Sabha, and 46 from Rajya Sabha. This accounts for 19% of the strength of each House. This is the highest number of suspensions in any Lok Sabha term so far.
▪ In this session, one Lok Sabha member (Ms. Mahua Moitra) was expelled on grounds of ethical misconduct. In the past, MPs have been expelled from Parliament on three other occasions. In 2005, 11 members were expelled from Parliament, for taking money in exchange for asking questions. Prior to that, one member was expelled in 1978 and 1976 each.

All Bills introduced in the Session passed; none referred to Committees
▪ All 10 Bills introduced in this session were passed. In addition, seven Bills pending from previous sessions were
▪ The Telecommunications Bill, 2023, which restructures the regulatory framework of the telecom sector, was passed within three days of introduction. It was discussed for one hour and four minutes in Lok Sabha and one hour and 11 minutes in Rajya Sabha.
▪ Three Bills replacing the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 were discussed and passed. The three Bills were discussed for nine hours and 28 minutes in Lok Sabha and six hours and eight minutes in Rajya Sabha. 34 members participated in the discussion in Lok Sabha, 25 of whom belonged to BJP. In Rajya Sabha, 40 members participated, of which 30 members belonged to BJP.
▪ In this session, no Bills were referrred to Committees. The proportion of Bills referred to Committees has decreased from 71% during the 15th Lok Sabha to 16% during the 17th Lok Sabha.

Question hour functioned for half of the scheduled time in Lok Sabha
▪ All questions that were asked by suspended members were removed from the list of questions listed for responses. Since December 14, the day on which 14 MPs were suspended, 12% of the questions were cancelled in Lok Sabha and 13% in Rajya Sabha.
▪ No questions were answered orally on two days in Rajya Sabha and three days in Lok Sabha. Overall, question hour functioned for 53% of its scheduled time in Lok Sabha and 72% in Rajya Sabha.
▪ Rajya Sabha spent over 10 hours discussing the state of economy. Supplementary budget amounting to an increase of 1% in the annual budget was also discussed in both Houses and passed. Several items added to House agenda at the last minute
▪ Both Houses publish their respective business agenda for the next day. This helps MPs anticipate and prepare for House proceedings. During this session, members were informed of several important items of business through the Supplementary Agenda. This is usually published after the day’s sitting has begun. This reduces the time for Members to prepare for interventions.

No Deputy Speaker elected for almost the entire term
▪ The 17th Lok Sabha is nearing the end of its term, with the last session left. For the first time, no Deputy Speaker has been elected in Lok Sabha for almost the entire term.
▪ The Constitution mandates Lok Sabha to elect a Deputy Speaker post election as soon as possible.

Courtesy: The Wire

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