Rajya Sabha: Opposition cries foul over barely invoked Rule 267

Rajya Sabha: Records kept by the legislature show that the Upper House last heard a discussion under this provision in November 2016.

Rule 267, which the Opposition claims has not made an appearance even once in the Upper House in the past five years, has just a week to be revived under the supervision of Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Following Rule 267, a listed business may be suspended while one or more members discuss a topic.

Rajya Sabha

On Monday, the opposition drew attention to the fact that a matter hadn’t been permitted to be discussed under the clause for well over five years. Naidu’s term as India’s vice president expires on August 10; time is running out.

On Monday, there was a chance to demonstrate that Rule 267 was still in effect. Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the Congress, Priyanka Chaturvedi, and Derek O’Brien, of the Trinamul Congress, presented a resolution following the rule to examine the growth in the cost of necessities and the hike in GST on pre-packaged grains.

However, deputy chairman Harivansh said that chairman Naidu would not permit a discussion following Rule 267. Instead, Harivansh preferred that the members discuss a motion bringing attention to “post-Covid problems.” Members of the opposition demonstrated by waving signs and yelling protesting phrases.

Piyush Goyal, the Rajya Sabha’s leader, claimed that the administration was open to discussing any topic, including price increases, and that the opposition was dodging the subject.

Under Rule 267, Kharge wanted a dialogue. From July 2017 until the present (2022), no notice for discussion under Rule 267 has been taken up once, according to O’Brien.

Under Rule 267, any member may notify the Chair of a discussion on any topic. When Hamid Ansari served as chairperson in 2015 and 2016, two of these notices were permitted.

Records kept by Parliament show that on November 16, 2016, a discussion under Rule 267 was last heard in the Rajya Sabha. Demonetization was the problem.

The agrarian problem in various sections of the nation had earlier been brought up for consideration by the Upper House on April 23, 2015, per Rule 267. On August 10, 2016, the House debated the situation in Kashmir following the rule.

Since taking office as Chair on August 11, 2017, Naidu has dismissed hundreds of notices under Rule 267 about the Rafale deal, the implementation of the GST, price increases, the Pegasus snooping claims, hate speech, and assaults on Dalits and other minorities.

Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, a Trinamul member who was one of more than a dozen members to have given notices on the Pegasus charges under Rule 267, brought up the five-year gap during the monsoon session in August of last year.

Right, Sukhendu Sekharji, you’ve made your point, Naidu had retorted. Every time the GPC (general purposes committee) or another group of us gets together, we have to discuss it.

Naidu had stated, “I am receiving 10 to 15 notices under Rule 267 on various topics every day.

The Rajya Sabha debated the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities), Amendment Bill on Monday in response to requests from the opposition for a discussion under Rule 267. Disruptions caused the House to adjourn twice.

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