Privilege motion
Privilege motion

Congress Party on July 24 moved a breach of privilege notice in the Lok Sabha against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, alleging that they were “misleading” the House on Rafale fighter aircraft deal. It is up to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan whether to allow it or. Indian Parliament affords certain special privileges to its Members. 

Motions and resolutions are procedural devices to raise a discussion in the House on a matter of general public interest.  With few exceptions, the process of debate in the House is initiated by a member or Minister by making a motion.  

In its widest sense, the term ‘motion’ means any proposal submitted to the House for eliciting its decision.  Every matter is determined in the House by means of a question put from the Chair on a motion made by a member and resolved either in the affirmative or negative.  The decision which has thus been elicited, turns the motion into a resolution or order of the house.  In other words, by a motion, the House discusses a matter, by a resolution the House declares its own opinion.  

Motions and resolutions can be moved by private members as well as Ministers.  When they are moved by the former, they are called private members’ motions or resolutions.  As the time for discussing motions is taken from the time available for government business, government motions get precedence over private members’ motions, on the same subject.  When they are moved in pursuance of a constitutional or statutory provision, they are called statutory motions or resolutions.  

No period of notice has been prescribed in regard to such motions nor do they require any seconder.  In order that a motion may be admissible, it should satisfy certain conditions.  

These are:  (i) it should raise substantially one definite issue; (ii) it should not contain arguments, inferences, ironical expressions, imputations or defamatory statements; (iii) it should not refer to the conduct or character of persons except in their public capacity; (iv) it should be restricted to a  matter of recent occurrence; (v) it should not raise a question of privilege; (vi) it should not revive discussion of a matter which has been discussed in the same session; and so on.  The notice for motion should also not ask for expression of opinion or the solution of an abstract legal question or of a hypothetical proposition. It should not raise matter under the control of bodies or persons not primarily responsible to the Government of India. The member who raises the discussion has no right of reply.

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