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How adjournment war was won

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Wednesday rejected the adjournment motion on price rise after a detailed session of discussions and hunting for precedents. Jayanth Jacob reports.

delhi Updated: Jul 29, 2010 23:31 IST
Jayanth Jacob

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Wednesday rejected the adjournment motion on price rise after a detailed session of discussions and hunting for precedents. She reiterated that such motions can be brought on only in the case of failure of the government to perform its Constitutional duties.

And what also proved useful as source material was Speakers’ Ruling, a book by Lok Sabha Secretary General, PDT Achary, who has four decades of official experience in Parliament.

With the Opposition pushing for the motion, the government floor-managers went into a huddle. Sources said they were trying to find grounds based on precedence to ensure the opposition’s efforts don’t succeed.

An adjournment motion, like calling for attention, deals with urgent issues. But, going by the precedence it was found that for an adjournment motion, the matter should “arise in the nature of an emergency”.

One of the key rulings rejecting the adjournment motion that was used as a precedent was the 1971 ruling by Speaker GS Dhillon on the issue of non-recognition of Bangladesh.

Dhillon had ruled: “An adjournment motion is always admitted on the failure of actions of duties enjoined by the Constitution and law. Non-recognition is not part of the duty. It is part of their discretion”.

The ruling further said “An adjournment motion is meant only for discussion on the failure of the Government for which it is charged; failure of government to perform the duties which are enjoined by the constitution and the law,” says Achary’s book.

The sources explained the technicality that the fuel price hike is not a “failure of government and it was an exercise of the executive power of the government”.