Motions in Indian Parliament

A motion is a proposal by a member of the house for its opinion/decision.

The motions moved by the members to raise discussions on various matters fall into three principal categories:

• Substantive Motions — A substantive motion is a self-contained independent proposal submitted for the approval of the House and drafted in such a way as to be capable of expressing a decision of the House. Examples are as impeachment of the President etc.

• Substitute Motions — Motions moved in substitution of the original motion for taking into consideration a policy or situation or statement or any other matter are called substitute motions. If adopted by the house, it supersedes the original motion.

• Subsidiary Motions — It is a motion that, by itself has no meaning and is not capable of stating the decision of the House without reference to the original motion or proceedings of the House. Subsidiary motions are further divided into:

a. Ancillary Motions —They are motions which are recognized by the practice of the House as the regular way of proceeding with various kinds of business.
b. Superseding Motions —They are motions which, though independent in form, are moved in the course of debate on another question and seek to supersede that question.
c. Amendments – They seek to modify or substitute only a part of the original motion.

Types of Motions:

1.) Privilege Motion 

The motion will be introduced by the opposition if a minister has mislead the house by providing wrong information. Its purpose is to censure the concerned minister.

2.) Censure Motion

It can be brought against the ruling government or against any minister for the failure to act or seeking disapproval of their policy. It can be moved only in Lok Sabha only by the opposition. A censure motion must specify the charges against the government for which it is moved. If a censure motion is passed in the Lok Sabha, the Council of ministers is bound to seek the confidence of the Lok Sabha as early as possible.

3.) No Confidence Motion

This can be moved only in Lok Sabha and by the opposition of the house. It can be brought only against the Council of ministers and not against any individual minister. Unlike censure motion, a no-confidence motion does not require any specific ground. Once admitted in the House, it takes precedence over all the pending business of the House. Generally the PM answers the allegations after the members have spoken. If the motion is adopted by the House, the Council of Ministers is bound to resign. The motion needs the support of 50 members to be admitted.

4.) Call – Attention Motion

A member (after permission from Speaker) calls the attention of the minister to any matter of ‘urgent public importance’. There is no Call – Attention motion in the Rajya Sabha.

5.) Adjournment Motion

Motion for an adjournment of the business of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance may be made with the consent of the Speaker.

6.) Cut Motions

The members of the Lok Sabha have a veto power to oppose a demand in the financial bill discussed by the government. This is an effective tool to test the strength of the government. If a cut motion is adopted by the House and the government does not have the numbers, it is obliged to resign. They are moved in the Lok Sabha only. They are part of the budgetary process which seeks to reduce the amounts for grants.

Cut Motions can be divided into three categories:

• Policy Cut: That the amount of the demand be reduced to Re.1/-‘ representing disapproval of the policy underlying the demand. A member giving notice of such a motion shall indicate in precise terms the particulars of the policy which he proposes to discuss. The discussion should be confined to the specific point or points mentioned in the notice and it shall be open to members to advocate an alternative policy.

• Economy Cut:
 The objective of the motion is to reduce the amount of die expenditure and the form of the motion is “The amount of the demand be reduced by Rupee… (a specified amount)”. Such specified amount may be either a lump sum reduction in the demand or omission or reduction of an item in the demand.

• Token Cut:
 The objective of the motion is to ventilate a specific grievance within the sphere of responsibility of the Government of India and its form is “The amount of the demand be reduced by Rupee 100″.

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