The rules review committee set up by Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu has, in its interim report, made two key recommendations: automatic suspension of wilful offenders and changing question-hour timing, sources said.
The two-member committee is headed by former secretary general of Rajya Sabha V.K. Agnihotri. The report has to be approved by the Rules Committee of the Upper House, which is headed by Mr. Naidu and has members from across parties. The automatic suspension of wilful offenders is a controversial clause which was debated by the Rajya Sabha secretariat when Hamid Ansari was the Chairman. The Lok Sabha has a provision for automatic suspension, but in the Rajya Sabha, the House has to vote on the Chair’s suggestion to suspend a member; the chair can’t take the decision on its own.
Sources said the committee has recommended that a clause similar to one available in the Lok Sabha should be available to the Chair in the Rajya Sabha too. The other recommendation is to restore the question hour to 11 a.m. from noon.
Sources also said that the review committee is looking at the amending Rule 267 of Rajya Sabha, under which business of the day can be suspended to discuss something of extraordinary importance. "This rule should be used only for issues of national importance that too only in rare circumstances. But we saw that the many had a tendency to use it on a regular basis to disrupt the house, which was wrong. There should be some sort of a regulatory clause within the rule," former deputy chairman P J Kurien said.
The committee will submit its final report in mid-August.
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