January 9, 2019
Sukhendu Sekhar Ray raises a Point of Order regarding the extension of Rajya Sabha
On November 19, 2018, a bulletin was issued informing the members of the commencement of the 247th session and the provisional calendar was issued. It says, “ At present arranged sittings of the Rajya Sabha for the transaction of business during the 247th session have been fixed provisionally from December 11, 2018 till January 8, 2019”.
So it was supposed to be concluded yesterday and there was no announcement from the Chair as to whether the House has been extended till today or not. At the close of the day, the Chair said “the House is adjourned till tomorrow till 11.00 am” without mentioning… as per the rules, because the Chairman has the power to extend the House.
We are not questioning the authority or the power of the Chairman; this is not a prestige issue. I am just inviting your attention to the rules and procedures.
Rule 12 – under subheading ‘Days of sittings’ – says, “The Council shall sit on such days as the Chairman, having regard to the state of business of the Council, may from time to time direct.”
So there was no direction from the Chairman. Now what is the procedure? The procedure has been stated I this book, ‘Rajya Sabha at Work’, hard edition, page number 365, chapter Two. I quote only two, three lines:
“Fixation of Sittings: The Rajya Sabha sits on such days as the Chairman, having regard to the state of business of the Council, may from time to time direct.”
Then, Provisional Calendar of sittings: Alongwith the summons for a session, a Provisional Calendar of sittings showing the programme of sittings so fixed is issued to members.
Then it says “changes in the programme of the sittings as shown in the provisional calendar of sittings and notified in the bulletin may be made as and when necessary and announced by the Chairman in the House and notified in the Bulletin.”
So there was no announcement, there was no notification. As a mark of protest, we were sitting in the House even after the adjournment and thereafter we made press statements. After 7 o’clock we found from sources that a Bulletin has been issued. Raat ke andhere mein ek bulletin publish kiya gaya.
This is not only abridgement of the rules but it is a total disregard of the parliamentary procedures which are to be practised by this house. It is unprecedented. It is illegal.