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Motion and resolution

Motion and resolution
Highlights

Any decision by the Parliament, be it on a legislation proposal or a policy, is taken after due consideration and voting. Also, the legislature...

This article seeks to explain the meaning of resolution and motion introduced in the Parliament in the process of making decisions and explains the different types of motions

Any decision by the Parliament, be it on a legislation proposal or a policy, is taken after due consideration and voting. Also, the legislature expresses its opinion or seeks the attention of the government on matters of public importance. Several instruments like closure motions, calling attention motion and no confidence motion are used during such considerations and also to exercise legislative control over the executive, which, is the essence of parliamentary form of government.

Resolution – is a self-contained independent proposal submitted for the approval of the House and drafted in such away as to be capable of expressing a decision of the House. A resolution may be in the form

  • of declaration of opinion; or
  • of a recommendation; or
  • so as to record either approval or disapproval by the House of an act or policy of Government; or
  • convey a message; or
  • commend, urge or request an action; or
  • call attention to a matter or situation for consideration by government; or
  • in such other form as the Speaker may consider appropriate.

Example of a resolution – In case of a natural disaster like the floods that occurred in Jammu & Kashmir, the house can pass a resolution recommending the immediate measures to be taken by the Government for relief and rehabilitation of the victims.

Motion— It is a formal proposal made to the House by a member requesting the House to do something, order something to be done or express an opinion with regard to some matter. Any matter to be decided by the House must be brought in front of the House in the form of a motion and once the motion is adopted by the House, it becomes the decision or opinion of the House as a whole. Motions therefore are the basis of parliamentary proceedings. A motion can be moved only with the approval of the presiding officer – Speaker in Lok Sabha, Chairman in Rajya Sabha. A motion goes through the following four stages:

  • Moving of the motion – the member proposing the motion will introduce the motion.
  • Proposing the question by the Speaker/Chairman – the Speaker/Chairman allow the motion by admiting it.
  • Debate or discussion where permissible – discussions or debates on the matter in the motion are not allowed in all cases; only in a few types of motions debates or discussion are allowed.
  • Voting or decision of the house – the matter in the motion is voted on.

All motions moved in the House are classified into three broad categories namely:

1. Substantive motions

2. Substitute motions

3. Subsidiary motions

1. Substantive motion —It is a self-contained independent proposal submitted for the approval of the House and drafted in such a way as to be capable of expressing a decision of the House. It is self-contained independent proposal because it neither depends nor arises out of any other motion. Examples of Substantive motions are:

  • Motion of thanks on the President’s address.
  • Motion for adjournment on a matter of public importance.
  • No confidence motion.
  • Motion for election or removal of Speaker/ Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairman/Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
  • Privilege motions.
  • Motion for impeachment of President and removal of judges of High Court and Supreme Court.

2. Substitute motion — are motions moved in substitution of the original motion and proposing an alternative to it. This motion can be moved by another member before the commencement of discussion on the original motion. While the subject of both the motions is same, they differ on the matter of decision.

3. Subsidiary motion — It is a motion which depends upon or relates to another motion or follows upon some proceedings in the House. By itself it has no meaning and is not capable of stating the decision of the House without reference to the original motion or proceedings of the House. Subsidiary Motions are further divided into:

(a) Ancillary motion—A motion which is recognised by the practice of the House as the regular way of proceeding with various kinds of business. Examples of ancillary motions - that the Bill be taken into consideration; that the Bill be passed.

(b) Superseding motion—A motion which though independent in form, is moved in the course of debate on another question and seeks to supersede that question. In that class fall all the dilatory motions as they cause a delay in deciding on the motions. The following motions are superseding motions in relation to the motion for taking into consideration a Bill—

  • That the Bill be re-committed to a select committee.
  • That the Bill be re-committed to a joint committee of the Houses.
  • That the Bill be re-circulated for eliciting further opinion thereon.

(c) Amendment — is a subsidiary motion that seeks to modify a part of the orginal motion.

Difference between a motion and resolution:

1. The difference between a motion and resolution is more of procedure than content, i.e., the content of a resolution and a motion can be the same but the manner in which it is adopted and the decision on the content will differ.

2. All resolutions come under the category of substantive motions but all motions are not resolutions.

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