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Lok Sabha: How can ministers move legislation on policy matters when no-confidence motion is pending, asks Manish Tewari | India News

NEW DELHI: Congress MP Manish Tewari on Monday questioned the Narendra Modi government over moving legislation and substantive business on policy matters such as the statutory resolution for increasing the import duty on LPG after Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla has admitted the no-confidence motion moved by the opposition and a debate is pending on it.

In a tweet, the Lok Sabha MP from Anandpur Sahib in Punjab, objected to the statutory resolution on hiking import duty on LPG and said, “Rule 198 (2) that gives honourable @loksabhaspeaker Sh @ombirlakota 10 days to schedule a discussion on the motion of no confidence in the Council of Ministers must be interpreted harmoniously in conjunction with Article 75 (3) of the Constitution of India that the Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the people.”
He further said, “When a motion is before the House expressing want of confidence in the said Council of Ministers, how can such ministers be permitted to move legislation and substantive business on matters of policy like the statutory resolution to increase import duty on LPG that stands in the name of Finance Minister @nsitharaman in today’s list of business in the Lok Sabha?”

The question of Tewari comes in the wake of the speaker earlier rejecting the objections raised by the opposition stating that the Lok Sabha cannot pass bills till the no-confidence motion is disposed of.
The Congress had moved the no-confidence motion on July 26 and it was supported by the opposition. The speaker admitted the motion and said the date and time for the debate on the motion will be announced later.
On the same day, N K Premchandran of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) had raised an objection over the introduction and passage of bills in the House and demanded an early start of the debate on the no-confidence motion.
In a statement issued on July 27, the speaker clarified that the House can pass legislation as per Rule 198. He said, “Yesterday, Shri N K Premachandran had raised a point of order stating that when leave of the House to the moving of a motion of no confidence in the Council of Ministers has been granted, no substantive motion on policy matters is to be brought before the House by the Government till the motion of no confidence has been disposed of.
“I would like to draw the attention of the House to sub rule (2) of the Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure which provides that once leave is granted under the said Rule, the date of discussion on the motion will be appointed by the Speaker, not later than 10 days from which the leave has been granted.”
Birla said as per convention, after leave of the House to moving a motion of no- confidence has been granted, the speaker consults the leader of the house and leaders of political parties and decides the date and time of discussion on the motion of no-confidence.
Giving his ruling on the objection raised by the opposition, the speaker said, “In my view, the time available to the House between leave being granted by the House and moving of the motion of no confidence can be gainfully utilised by the House in debates and discussion. The House would agree that it is our constitutional duty to legislate and raise issues of public importance.”
Birla noted that Rule 198 also does not bar taking up any legislative or other matters of public importance after leave to moving a motion of no confidence has been granted by the House.
He said, “In the past also, we have instances when after leave of the House to the moving of motion of no confidence was granted, the House took up important legislation before the actual motion of no confidence was disposed of,” and requested all the members to cooperate with the chair.

In an earlier tweet, Tewari said once the no-confidence motion has been tabled in the Lok Sabha, any legislation or material business brought before the House is “completely in violation of morality, propriety and Parliamentary conventions”.
He claimed the very legality of all the legislations which have been passed in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha after the no-confidence motion was admitted would have to be examined by a court of law as to whether they were legally passed or not.
Tewari quoted the then parliamentary affairs minister Satyendra Narayan Sinha who, on July, 26, 1966, made a statement in the Lok Sabha regarding no-confidence motion and said, “I do concede that whenever there is a no-confidence motion, no substantive motion should he brought just to forestall the whole thing.”
Tewari alleged that these are the parliamentary traditions that are being subverted by passing “bill after bill” when a no-confidence motion has been admitted.
The Lok Sabha has passed seven bills, including the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023 on Monday, since July 26 when the no-confidence was admitted by the speaker.

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