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The parliamentary arrangement is shocking to be removed question | news-forum.in

(A working democracy should have the ability to withstand crises at the time of examination so that there can be a fundamental improvement in the institutions of social, economic, political, and democracy there. 'Politics of evasion' does not help in this process. Executive accountability cannot be allowed to be a thing of the past at any cost. Therefore, questions should be raised during question hour)

©Priyanka Saurabh, Hisar (Haryana)

{Research Scholar in Political Science, Poetess, Independent journalist and columnist}


The people of India have left a constitution for themselves which provides a parliamentary form of government for our democracy in which the executive is accountable to the voter through a legislature that is elected by the voter from time to time. Functions include legislating, controlling national finances and approving taxation proposals, and discussing matters of public interest and concern.

 

Apart from these functions, the legislature is also responsible for the questions, adjournment motion, calling attention, half-an-hour discussion, no-confidence motion, privilege question, etc. After 1991, our Question Hour has become the most important aspect of parliamentary functioning. The first hour of every parliamentary meeting is kept for the Question Hour where Members of Parliament raise questions about any aspect of administrative activity.

In a starred question, a member seeks an oral answer from the minister concerned and can be followed by supplementary questions, whereas in the case of unstarred questions, a written answer is provided, and no supplementary questions can be asked.

 

A short notice question is one which is asked by giving notice less than ten days. This has been answered orally. Ministries get questions 15 days in advance so that they can prepare their ministers for the Question Hour. The presiding officers of both the Houses (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha) are the final authorities in relation to the conduct of the Question Hour. The Question Hour is governed according to parliamentary rules. The Question Hour in both the Houses is held on all days of the session. But there are two days when an exception is made (the day of the President’s address and during the budget presentation).

 

Among these tools of accountability, a daily question hour is a major tool for criticism on the basis of regularity and equality in each member of the House, Rajya Sabha, or Lok Sabha. It has special significance in the proceedings of Parliament as it covers every aspect of government activities, domestic and foreign.The government thus helps in realizing the pulse of the nation and giving the public a view of the performance of both its elected representatives and ministers.

 

Questions are addressed to a specific minister of government and may seek oral answers written by the starred or written one. The veracity of the answers given is extremely important and corrections of the inaccuracies of the rules are allowed by the Minister concerned. Deleting the ‘Question Hour’ and citing epidemic is rare. The seriousness of the situation resulting from the spread of Kovid-19 is experienced by people all over the world and every citizen of the country.

 

A new discipline has descended upon us and we have experienced new norms and styles of existence, we have learned to live with the lockdown. But today the ‘Question Hour’ is removed from our parliamentary system and it is seen as a right to question the government. Recently, clarification by the government stated that unstarred questions will continue to be received and answered and this change will only be related to starred questions and supplementary questions that need to be answered.

 

The government’s move to postpone the question hour has come under criticism. To maintain parliamentary democracy it is imperative for MPs to seek answers from the Council of Ministers, which is based on the executive’s accountability to the legislature. However, in the ensuing session, the Question Hour is suspended, removing the only avenue that forces ministers to respond to MPs’ questions immediately. Parliament will set precedent for legislative functioning in future legislative assemblies.

 

The suspension of question hour is not a good sign in democratic principles, especially in parliamentary democracy. The move to postpone the question hour and find an alternative due to the epidemic should be discussed with the leaders of political parties and groups. A working democracy should have the ability to withstand crises at the time of examination so that there can be a fundamental improvement in the institutions of social, economic, political, and democracy. ‘Politics of evasion’ does not help in this process. Executive accountability cannot be allowed to be a thing of the past at any cost. Therefore, questions should be raised on the question hour.

 

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