Editorial Simplified: Parliamentary Disruption | GS – II

Relevance : GS Paper II (Polity & Governance)


Theme of the article

Parliamentary disruption has become the norm, this Lok Sabha mirrors the decline.


The parliamentary disruption

  • Disruption of parliamentary proceedings is not a new phenomenon. MPs have disrupted House proceedings from the early days of Parliament.
  • But disruption which was an exception earlier, seems to have become the new normal. In the last decade, MPs have raised slogans, snatched papers from ministers and used pepper spray in the House.

The role of the presiding officers

  • What was different during this session was the firmness of the presiding officers.
  • Disrupting MPs were warned by the Chair and then suspended from the proceedings of Parliament.
  • The presiding officers of both Houses also initiated steps to change the rules of procedure of the Parliament to better deal with disruptions

The nature of disruptions

  • In most cases, disorders in the House arise out of a sense of frustration felt by members due to lack of opportunities to make his point.They are perhaps easier to deal with.
  • What is more difficult to tackle is planned parliamentary offences and deliberate disturbances for publicity or for political motives.

Loss due to disruptions

  • During this session, Lok Sabha lost about 60 per cent and Rajya Sabha about 80 per cent of its scheduled time.
  • Disruptions also derailed the legislative agenda. Of the 10 Bills passed by Lok Sabha till January 7, nine were discussed for less than an hour-and-a-half.
  • In the Rajya Sabha, disruptions leading to adjournment resulted in only one bill being passed by it till January 8.
  • The problem of inadequate legislative deliberation was compounded in the session by non-reference of bills to parliamentary committees for detailed scrutiny. In the 16th Lok Sabha, fewer Bills (26 per cent) are being referred to Parliamentary Committees as compared to the 15th Lok Sabha (71 per cent) and the 14th Lok Sabha (60 per cent).
  • Disruptions also did not leave any time for discussions on any national issues in the Parliament. Parliamentary debates are recorded for posterity. They offer an insight into the thinking of our elected representatives.

Conclusion

When we look at the work done by the Parliament, our MPs might have fallen short of their constitutional duty.