Gist of Parliament Proceedings : No Space for Disruptions Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC

UPSC: Gist of Parliament Proceedings : No Space for Disruptions Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC

The document Gist of Parliament Proceedings : No Space for Disruptions Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV).
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

Disruptions in Parliament Proceedings

In News

Recently, the Lok Sabha was adjourned two days ahead of schedule and the session saw only 21 hours of functioning and  22% productivity.

About

  • The Monsoon Session started on July 19, was adjourned two days ahead of its scheduled date of August 13, as the Opposition protested over the Pegasus snooping controversy, farm laws and other issues.
  • Of the 96 hours allotted for business, only 21 hours, 14 minutes could be utilized.
  • Zero Hour – Time allotted to members to raise important issues – was most affected and Question Hour too witnessed disruptions on most of the days.

Monsoon Session’s Productivity

  • According to PRS Legislative Research data, the Monsoon Session was the third least productive Lok Sabha session of the last two decades, with a productivity of just 21 per cent. 
  • Rajya Sabha logged a productivity of 28 per cent, its eighth least productive Session since 1999.

Gist of Parliament Proceedings : No Space for Disruptions Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC

Recent Disruptions

  • Disruption is replacing discussion as the foundation of our legislative functioning. 
  • All four sessions since last year have been cut short. 
    • The first two because of Covid, 
    • This year’s budget session because of campaigning in state elections, 
    • The Monsoon session on account of disruptions.

Reasons for Disruptions

  • In 2001, a day-long conference was held in the Central Hall of Parliament to discuss discipline and decorum in legislatures. 
  • All leaders came up with four reasons for such disruptions:
    • Dissatisfaction in MPs because of inadequate time for airing their grievances.
    • The matters such as the Pegasus issue, concerns over various bills are examples of causing disruptions. 
    • An unresponsive attitude of the government and the retaliatory posture of the treasury benches. 
    • Political parties not adhering to parliamentary norms and disciplining their members. 
    • The absence of prompt action against disrupting MPs under the legislature’s rules.

Challenges

  • Party supporting wrong doing of members: Party members have the support of their parties in breaking the rules, the threat of suspension from the House does not deter them.
  • Less number of working days: Successive governments have shied away from increasing the working days of Parliament. 
  • Contentious issues not debated: When a contentious issue crops up, the government dithers on debating it, leading to Opposition MPs violating the conduct rules and disrupting the proceedings of Parliament.
  • Hindrance To Representative Democracy: Parliamentary discussion is a manifestation of a representative kind of democracy in operation, in the sense that representation of the people directly questions the government on matters of governance.

Way Forward

  • Empower Parliament: More strengthening of our Parliament is the solution to prevent disruption of its proceedings. There should be a deepening of its role as the forum for deliberation on critical national issues. 
  • Enforcement of a code of conduct for MPs and MLAs: There must be strict adherence to code of conduct for MPs and MLAs so that disruption of proceedings ceases to be an option.
  • An increase in the sitting days of legislatures: Parliament should meet more frequently. In the 1950s, Parliament met for 120-140 days every year; now it ranges between 60 and 70 days.
  • Fixed Schedule: The parliamentary schedule is decided by the government, which can postpone or curtail a session if faced with uncomfortable issues. It can be fixed in  two ways:
    • A calendar of sittings should be announced at the beginning of each year for limited flexibility. 
    • The rules should be amended to ensure that the House is summoned if a significant minority (say 25% or 33%) of members gives a written notice.
  • Guarantee some time for the Opposition: For instance, the British Parliament allocates 20 days a year when the agenda is decided by the opposition.
  • Developing an Index: Parliamentary disruption index should be created as a measure to monitor disruptions in legislatures and check indiscipline. It would also lead to availability of more time for debate and discussion on issues before the House.
The document Gist of Parliament Proceedings : No Space for Disruptions Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV).
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

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