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Partap Bajwa appeals Punjab Speaker to prorogue the House

Chandigarh, December 1, 2022 (Yes Punjab News)
In his letter to the Hon’ble Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Sardar Partap Singh Bajwa brought to his notice the factum of Vidhan Sabha sessions being called at very short notice thereby bulldozing the right of the Hon’ble Members to ask the questions on the floor of the House about the various problems faced by the electorate because the Questions given by the Members are not listed for want of 15 days’ clear notice under Rule 34 of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha (Punjab Legislative Assembly), hereinafter referred to as ‘Rules’.

He cited Rule 7 of the Rules provides that “on prorogation of the House, all pending notices, other than notices of intention to move for leave to introduce a Bill, shall lapse”. Further, under the second proviso to Rule 7, it has been provided that “a fresh notice shall be necessary of intention to move for leave to introduce any Bill in respect of which sanction or recommendation has been granted under the Constitution if the sanction or recommendation, as the case may be, has ceased to be operative”. The net result is that the Members are kept waiting for prorogation and cannot give any questions or other notices for redressal of the issues confronting their constituencies.

He further brought to his notice that the last sitting of the Vidhan Sabha was held on 3rd October, 2022 and in the normal course, as per the established practice, the House should have been prorogued maximum within two weeks. However, despite the lapse of nearly two months, the prorogation has not been ordered.

Consequently, the Members cannot give questions for redressal of the concerns of their constituencies because of the fear of their automatic lapse on prorogation after their submission of questions. Thue he lamented the consequential infringement of a very fundamental right of the Members is getting infringed in the absence of prorogation.

He submitted that the intentional delay in prorogation also cuts at the roots of accountability of the executive to the legislature as the bureaucracy gets a readymade excuse of putting in a request for an adjournment to Starred as well as Unstarred Questions invoking the plea of shortage of time and the nature of the information sought by a Member in the form of Questions, Resolutions, Private Bills etc.

Accordingly, he appeal to the Speaker to firewall the rights and privileges of the Members of the House from the intentional misuse of delayed prorogation of the House so that the glorious established traditions of the House are maintained through the effective use of various democratic tools available to the Members.

In the alternative, he made a suggestion to amend Rule 7 of the Rules to safeguard the basic rights and privileges of the Hon’ble Members to ensure accountability of the Executive to the Legislature.

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