Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar reinterpreted rules and set a precedent by allowing the Opposition to move cut motions on demands for grants for ministries taken up by the House for adoption without a discussion.
She said the practice so far has been that cut motions on demands for grants that are to be “guillotined’’ are not circulated among members and thus not allowed to be moved. “But I did not find any rule that bars the moving of cut motions on demands which are not discussed in the House,’’ she said.
The Treasury benches were caught off-guard. According to Kumar, the right to move a cut motion flows from the power vested in the House under Article 113 of the Constitution to assent to any demand subject to a reduction of the amount specified in that demand.
“This Article or any of the Rules doesn’t make distinction between the demands discussed in the House and those which are guillotined. Article 113 uses the words ‘any demand’. It is thus clear that cut motions can be moved on all demands submitted to the House under Article 113 (2),’’ she said.
“Constitutional right is a superior right ... Right to move cut motions is an important right of the members of the House provided in the Constitution which cannot be curtailed. I am, therefore, allowing the cut motions to be moved on demands which are to be guillotined,” she told the Lok Sabha.