Motions in Parliament – Substantive Substitute Subsidiary – UPSC

In this article, You can read Motions in Parliament i.e. Substantive, Substitute, Subsidiary, and so on… for UPSC Exam.

Motions

Motions and resolutions are procedural devices to raise a discussion in the House on a matter of general public interest. Motions can be classified under the following categories, namely:

  1. Substantive Motions;
  2. Substitute Motions; and
  3. Subsidiary Motions.

Substantive Motions

A substantive motion 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, e.g. all resolutions are substantive motions.

An example of a substantive motion is – “That this House expresses its confidence in the Council of Ministers.”

Substitute Motions

Motions moved in substitution of the original motion for taking into consideration a policy or situation or statement or any other matter are called substitute motions. Such motions, though drafted in such a way as to be capable of expressing an opinion by themselves are not, strictly speaking, substantive motions in as much as they depend upon the original motion.

Subsidiary Motions

They depend upon or relate to other motion or follow upon some proceedings in the House. They by themselves have no meaning and are not capable of stating the decision of the House without reference to the original motion or proceedings of the House.

Subsidiary motions can be further divided into:

  1. Ancillary Motions;
  2. Superseding Motions; and
  3. Amendments.

Closure Motion

It is a motion moved by a member to cut short the debate on a matter before the House. If the motion is approved by the House, the debate is stopped forthwith and the matter is put to vote. There are four kinds of closure motions.

  • Simple Closure: It is one when a member moves that the ‘matter having been sufficiently discussed be now put to vote’.
  • Closure by Compartments: In this case, the clauses of a bill or a lengthy resolution are grouped into parts before the commencement of the debate. The debate covers the part as a whole and the entire part is put to vote.
  • Kangaroo Closure: Under this type, only important clauses are taken up for debate and voting and the intervening clauses are skipped over and taken as passed.
  • Guillotine Closure: It is one when the undiscussed clauses of a bill or a resolution are also put to vote along with the discussed ones due to want of time (as the time allotted for the discussion is over).

Privilege Motion

It is concerned with the breach of parliamentary privileges by a minister. It is moved by a member when he feels that a minister has committed a breach of privilege of the House or one or more of its members by withholding facts of a case or by giving wrong or distorted facts. Its purpose is to ensure the concerned minister.

Calling Attention Motion

It is introduced in the Parliament by a member to call the attention of a minister to a matter of urgent public importance, and to seek an authoritative statement from him on that matter. Like the zero hours, it is also an Indian innovation in the parliamentary procedure and has been in existence since 1954. However, unlike the zero hours, it is mentioned in the Rules of Procedure.

Adjournment motion

The primary object of an adjournment motion is to draw the attention of Lok Sabha to a recent matter of urgent public importance having serious consequences and in regard to which a motion or a resolution with proper notice will be too late.

Houses in which adjournment motion is allowed only in Lok Sabha {or in state legislative assembly} and NOT in Rajya Sabha {or in state legislative council} because it has an element of censure against the government.

There are few conditions of adjournment motion in Lok Sabha as follows:

  • Such a motion needs the support of at least 50 members.
  • It should be introduced on a matter of definite and urgent public importance. However, it should not cover more than one matter and be restricted to that matter only.
  • The subject matter should not be the same which is already being discussed in the same session.
  • A question of privilege or any other questions which can be raised via other distinct motion cannot be raised in an adjournment motion. Since adjournment motion disrupts the normal business of the house and this is regarded as an extraordinary tool in parliament. The discussion on the adjournment motion needs to last at least 2.5 hours.
Censure motion

No-Confidence Motion

  • A motion of no-confidence, alternatively vote of no confidence, or (unsuccessful) confidence motion, is a statement or vote which states that a person(s) in a position of responsibility (government, managerial, etc.) is no longer deemed fit to hold that position, perhaps because they are inadequate in some respect, are failing to carry out obligations, or are making decisions that other members feel detrimental. As a parliamentary motion, it demonstrates to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in (one or more members of) the appointed government.
  • In India, a motion of no confidence can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Parliament of India). The motion is admitted for discussion when a minimum of 50 members of the house supports the motion.
  • If the motion carries, the House debates and votes on the motion. If a majority of the members of the house vote in favor of the motion, the motion is passed and the Government is bound to vacate the office.
  • Acharya Kripalani moved the first-ever no-confidence motion on the floor of the Lok Sabha in August 1963, immediately after the disastrous India–China War. As of July 2018, 27 no-confidence motions have been moved.

Motion of Thanks

  • The first session after each general election and the first session of every fiscal year is addressed by the president. In this address, the president outlines the policies and programs of the government in the preceding year and the ensuing year.
  • This address of the president, which corresponds to the ‘speech from the Throne in Britain’, is discussed in both the Houses of Parliament on a motion called the ‘Motion of Thanks’.
  • At the end of the discussion, the motion is put to vote. This motion must be passed in the House. Otherwise, it amounts to the defeat of the government. This inaugural speech of the president is an occasion available to the members of Parliament to raise discussions and debates to examine and criticize the government and administration for its lapses and failures.

No-Day-yet-Named Motion

  • If the Speaker admits notice of a motion and no date is fixed for its discussion, it is called a “No-Day-yet-Named Motion” and a copy of the admitted motion is forwarded to the Minister concerned with the subject matter of the motion.
  • Admitted notices of such motions may be placed before the Business Advisory Committee for selecting the motions for discussion in the House according to the urgency and importance of the subject matter thereof and allotting time for the same.

Point of Order

  • A member can raise a point of order when the proceedings of the House do not follow the normal rules of procedure.
  • A point of order should relate to the interpretation or enforcement of the Rules of the House or such articles of the Constitution that regulate the business of the House and should raise a question that is within the cognizance of the Speaker.
  • It is usually raised by an opposition member in order to control the government. It is an extraordinary device as it suspends the proceedings before the House. No debate is allowed on a point of order.

Half-an-Hour Discussion

  • Members have a right to get information from the Government on any matter of public concern by means of questions to Ministers. When a member feels that the answer given to a question, Starred or Unstarred or Short Notice, is not complete or does not give the desired information or needs elucidation on a matter of fact, he may be allowed by the Speaker to raise a discussion in the House for half an hour. The procedure is, therefore, termed as ‘Half-an-Hour Discussion’.

Short Duration Discussion

  • With a view to providing opportunities to members to discuss matters of urgent public importance, a convention was established in March 1953 whereby members could raise discussions for a short duration without a formal motion or vote thereon. The procedure has now come to form part of the Rules.

Special Mention

A matter which is not a point of order or which cannot be raised during question hour, half-an-hour discussion, short duration discussion, or under adjournment motion, calling attention notice or under any rule of the House can be raised under the special mention in the Rajya Sabha. Its equivalent procedural device in the Lok Sabha is known as ‘Notice (Mention) Under Rule 377’.

Resolutions

The members can move resolutions to draw the attention of the House or the government to matters of general public interest. The discussion on a resolution is strictly relevant to and within the scope of the resolution. A member who has moved a resolution or amendment to a resolution cannot withdraw the same except by leave of the House.

Resolutions are classified into three categories:

  • Private Member’s Resolution: It is one that is moved by a private member (other than a minister). It is discussed only on alternate Fridays and in the afternoon sitting.
  • Government Resolution: It is one that is moved by a minister. It can be taken up any day from Monday to Thursday.
  • Statutory Resolution: It can be moved either by a private member or a minister. It is so-called because it is always tabled in pursuance of a provision in the Constitution or an Act of Parliament.

Types of Budgetary Motions

The most popular and well-known motions which are used by members in connection with the budget are three. The demand for grants is considered and passed by Lok Sabha. Hence, these motions can be moved only in Lok Sabha.

1. Policy Cut: The member moves that the demand be reduced to one rupee. The member moving this motion in fact wants to discuss the policy behind the demand in detail and gives alternative policy suggestions.

2. Economy Cut: In this motion the reduction in the amount of demand is substantial. The amount to be reduced is clearly stated and the object is to bring about the economy in the expenditure.

3. Token Cut: In this motion, the demand is sought to be reduced by Rs. 100/-. The object of the motion is to ventilate specific grievances within the sphere of responsibility of the Government. Private Member’s Resolution A resolution may be moved by a Minister or by a private member. For private members generally, afternoons are reserved on alternate Fridays. Resolutions are selected by ballot. Resolutions may be brought under Rule 200 of the Lok Sabha for the removal of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker.


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