To tackle RS disruptors, Naidu sets up panel

To tackle RS disruptors, Naidu sets up panel

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. PTI File Photo

MPs disrupting proceedings in the Rajya Sabha may face tough action soon with chairman M Venkaiah Naidu initiating a process to amend rules that could even lead to automatic suspension of lawmakers indulging in protests.

Naidu has set up a two-member committee, which is the first of its kind in Rajya Sabha’s history, headed by former Rajya Sabha secretary general Dr V K Agnihotri and former law ministry joint secretary and legislative counsel S R Dhaleta.

The panel will review the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Rajya Sabha, “particularly those provisions which seem to be inadequate and not very specific” as compared to those in the Lok Sabha and suggest suitable amendments.

DH had on April 7 reported about the proposal to give more powers to Rajya Sabha chairperson to suspend unruly members by amending the existing rules. Top Rajya Sabha leaders had told Naidu he should convene a meeting of the General Purposes Committee of the House to deliberate on the action to be taken against protesting MPs.

For smooth conduct

Rajya Sabha Secretary General Desh Deepak Verma said a need has been felt for the past some time for further amendments to enlarge the scope of some rules and make them more effective and robust in certain aspects, for the smooth conduct of House proceedings.

“In the Rajya Sabha rules, there is no specific provision for automatic suspension of MPs who persistently and willfully obstruct proceedings by shouting slogans or otherwise by coming into the Well of the House, unlike the Rule 374 (A) of the Lok Sabha, which provides for automatic suspension of such MPs. As a result, many a time the chair is left with no option but to adjourn the House in the eventuality of grave disorder,” Verma said.

“Moreover, when there is disruption in the House, passage of a bill becomes difficult. Current Rules of Procedure relating to voting procedure on the bill become inadequate in such a situation. Therefore, there is a need to amend such rules to make them effective and robust in future,” he said.