Member can’t raise point of order on matter that is not before House: RS chairman

New Delhi | Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday ruled that a member cannot raise a ‘point of order’ for any procedural irregularity on an issue that is not before the House, after he refused to consider the matter raised by Congress’ Anand Sharma on voting rights of Karnataka MLAs in Assembly.

Responding to a point of order raised by Sharma on July 18, 2019 during Zero Hour, Naidu said he is not going into the merits of voting or abstention of MLAs in Karnataka assembly and the matter is left to the respective state Assembly.

In his ruling, the Chairman said a point of order can be raised on a matter which is before the House and presiding officers of the house have ruled on this in the past.

“Responding to his submission, I made it clear in the House that I cannot allow his point of order as the matter raised by him was not for consideration before the House.

“The point of order is a procedural device under Rule 258 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Rajya Sabha to bring to the notice of the Chair any procedural irregularity being done or observed in the House in relation to the Business of the House at that moment,” the Chairman noted.

“A Member cannot raise a point of order on a business that is not before the House. There have been a number of instances in Rajya Sabha when the Presiding Officers have consistently ruled that the point of order can be raised only on a matter which is before the House,” he said.

Naidu said Sharma wanted a ruling on the judgement given by the Supreme Court on a matter which is between the Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly and some of its MLAs. “This is obviously outside the ambit of Rule 258 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Rajya Sabha.”

He said he will not comment on the merits of the issue which he has raised and that is left to the other forum, the Karnataka Assembly.

Sharma had earlier stated that under paragraph 2(1)(b) of the Tenth Schedule, a member who votes or abstains from voting in a House contrary to the direction issued by his political party without obtaining the prior permission of, or condonation of such voting or abstention by that political party within 15 days from the date of such voting or abstention, incurs disqualification for being a Member of that House.

He also referred to the judgement of the Supreme Court of July 17, 2019, in the matter of some MLAs of Karnataka Vidhan Sabha and demanded a ruling.

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