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Upper House of Parliament: Rajya Sabha



  Aug 17, 2023

Rajya Sabha


Rule 267 vs Rule 176: Understanding the Differences

In the midst of tensions between the Centre and the Opposition over discussing the Manipur crisis during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, two specific rules of procedure, Rule 267 and Rule 176, have come into focus. These rules play a crucial role in regulating the conduct of business and facilitating discussions in the Rajya Sabha.
 

Rule 267:

Rule 267 allows for the suspension of rules on the day's agenda to initiate a debate on an urgent matter. This suspension is carried out with the Chairman's approval. Under this rule, any Member of Parliament (MP) can move that a specific rule be suspended in its application to a motion related to the day's listed business. If the motion is approved, the rule in question is temporarily suspended.
 

Key Points:

• The rule enables urgent discussions on matters of significance that require immediate attention.
• MPs must give notice before 10 a.m. on the day they seek suspension.
• A formal motion and voting process are required for invoking this rule.
• The Chairman's consent is essential for moving this motion.
• If specific provisions for rule suspension exist, Rule 267 cannot be applied.

Rule 176:

Rule 176 allows for short-duration discussions in the Rajya Sabha. These discussions are brief and do not last more than two-and-a-half hours. Unlike Rule 267, Rule 176 does not necessitate a formal motion or voting process. The MP who has given notice can make a concise statement, and the Minister provides a brief response. Other members, with prior permission from the Chairman, may also participate in the discussion.
 

Key Points:

• Short-duration discussions are limited to a maximum of two-and-a-half hours.
• No formal motion or voting process is required.
• The Chairman has the authority to set time limits for speeches during these discussions if needed.
• The Chairman, in consultation with the Leader of the Council (or Leader of the House), determines the date for discussion.
 

Comparison:

Rule 267 is invoked to suspend rules for urgent debates, allowing in-depth discussions on crucial matters that require immediate attention. On the other hand, Rule 176 facilitates brief, focused discussions without the need for formal motions or extensive time commitments.
 

Historical Usage:

Rule 267 has been invoked on various occasions to address pressing issues, such as the Gulf War and corruption. Its last usage was in 2016 during a discussion on demonetization. Conversely, Rule 176 has been utilized for short-duration discussions without the need for a formal motion.
 
It's worth noting that the Chairman's role is pivotal in both rules, as they hold the authority to determine the appropriateness of invoking the respective rule and ensuring the smooth conduct of discussions.
 

Table summarizing the key differences between Rule 267 and Rule 176:

Aspect Rule 267 Rule 176
Purpose Allows urgent debates on significant matters Facilitates short-duration discussions
Process Requires formal motion and voting process No formal motion or voting process required
Duration No specific time limit; debate can be extended Limited to a maximum of two-and-a-half hours
Chairman's Role Chairman's approval required for suspension of any rule Chairman sets time limits for speeches if necessary
Notice Requirement Notice to be given before 10 a.m. on the day Notice required for initiating discussion
Specific Provisions Cannot be applied if specific rules exist No such rule
Historical Usage Invoked for urgent issues; historical usage in addressing various issues Utilized for focused discussions without formal motion


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