Explained: Haryana’s amended Rules of Procedure, Conduct of Business of Legislative Assembly

Several new provisions have been added in order to maintain the decorum of the House to ensure that prompt action is taken on recommendations made by the committees constituted by the Speaker and to ensure adequate respect and protocol of the MLAs.

Haryana has amended several provisions under its Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Legislative Assembly of the state. Several new provisions have also been added in order to maintain the decorum of the House and to ensure that prompt action is taken on recommendations made by the committees constituted by the Speaker.

What are the new Rules in the amended provisions?

In Rule 76, a new provision has been added, according to which during every sitting of the House, presence of at least two ministers is a must, which was not maintained at times during discussion on certain Calling Attention Motions or other Business of the House. To maintain decorum of the House, another new provision has been added, according to which the members “shall not tear off documents in the House in protest”. There had been instances where Members occupying opposition benches had torn copies of documents in the House as a mark of protest.

Also, another Sub-Rule 46(11) that deals with Questions asked by the Members during the sitting of the House has been substituted. The new Sub-Rule reads: “The question shall not contain more than 150 words in any case either typed or handwritten on one side of the page.” Officials say it has been done to have better clarity for the Ministers to give a specific reply to the query raised by the Member. Earlier, there were instances where Members used to submit too lengthy questions that did not receive clear replies.

Regarding Supplementary Questions, a new provision has been added that reads: “A supplementary question shall be held out of order by the Speaker if, in his opinion- (i) It does not arise from the main Question or its answer; (ii) Instead of seeking information, it gives information; (iii) It seeks confirmation or denial of an opinion; and (iv) It infringes any of the rule regarding question. Provided that the Speaker shall allow not more than two supplementary questions to be asked on any question”.

What is the new definition of Leader of Opposition that the Rules has notified?

As per the new definition, Leader of Opposition means Leader of a Legislative Party having the largest number of members other than the party/parties that has formed the government and having the strength at least equal to the strength of the quorum of the House and recognised as such by the Speaker: Provided that if more than one party has got equal number of members competing for recognition, the number of votes polled to the which has polled more number of votes in the Assembly elections, shall be recognised as the official opposition and its leader as the Leader of the Opposition: Provided further that if the total number of votes polled to both the groups equal, then the Office of the Leader of the Opposition shall be held alternatively and the order in which they will hold Office shall be decided by draw of lots”.

What are the instructions issued to government departments?

After Rule 243, Rule 243(A) has been added that ensures timely action taken reports on the recommendations made by the Committees that comprise Members of the House and are constituted by the Speaker of Vidhan Sabha. “Department of Government to send statements of action taken on recommendations of the Committee. First, the Department of Government concerned with the recommendations made by Committee shall furnish within 30 days to the Haryana Vidhan Sabha Secretariat, Statement of final action taken by Government on the recommendations. Second, where it is considered by any Department of Government that the final action is likely to take a long time, it shall give an interim reply stating the position at that time, and the approximate time likely to be taken in taking the final action. Third, the statement of action taken shall be accompanied by a copy of the order, if any, issued by the Government to implement the recommendations of the Committee.”

What is the amended Rule for protocol violation enquiry?

After the Rule 297 that deals with this subject, the Rule 297-A has been added, which reads: “Any violation of the Instructions of the State Government and Instructions issued by the Department of Personnel Training, Central Government adopted by the State or any direction of the Speaker issued from time to time on observance of protocol and courtesies in dealing with the Members of the House shall be taken up by the Committee of Privileges for examination and Report.”

What are the amended Rules pertaining to Ministers?

Rule 204 (1) deals with members of the Committee of the Assembly. It says – (1) The members of a Committee of the Assembly shall be appointed by the Assembly on a motion made, or nominated by the Speaker, as the case may be. Now, a proviso has been added under this Rule, which reads – “Provided that a Minister shall not be nominated as a member of the Committee except Business Advisory Committee and in case a member of the Committee is appointed as a Minister, he/she shall cease to be the member of the Committee from the date of such appointment.”

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