Seventeenth Lok Sabha
Procedure Relating To Questions

After the receipt of the notice of a question it is scrutinised to see whether the designation of the Minister and date of answer have been correctly mentioned in the notice. A ballot is then held in respect of notices received in this Secretariat at the same time to determine their inter se priority. Separate ballots are held for starred and unstarred questions. Starred, unstarred and short notice questions are numbered separately and entered in separate diaries on computer software. 

The next stage is to examine the question as to whether or not it is admissible under the rules and past precedents. A question is primarily asked for the purpose of obtaining information on a matter of public importance. Questions that contain arguments, inferences or defamatory statements or otherwise refer to the character or conduct of any person except in his official or public capacity are not admitted. Questions which are in substance repetitions of those that have been answered previously or in regard to which information is available in accessible documents or in ordinary works of reference are also not admitted. Besides, if the subject matter of a question is pending for judgement before any court of law or any other tribunal or body set up under law or is under consideration before a Parliamentary Committee, the same is not permitted to be asked. Questions making discourteous references to foreign countries with whom India has friendly relations are disallowed. Similarly, questions raising larger issues of policy are not allowed for it is not possible to enunciate policies within the limited compass of an answer to a question. Questions containing more than 150 words or relating to a matter which is not primarily the concern of the Government of India are not admitted. Questions going into minor details of administration and day-to-day working of the Government are also not admitted. 

Keeping the above rules and precedents in view, a question is admitted or disallowed. Typed copies of the admitted and edited questions are then made out on a standard form. An advance copy of the admitted question is sent through email to the Ministry/Department concerned so that they may, on their side, initiate the action for collection of information asked for in the question to prepare a reply. 

A Short Notice Question is first referred to the Ministry concerned for furnishing factual information in the matter and also for indicating whether the Minister concerned accepts the short notice and, if so, what date will be convenient to her/him to answer the question. If the Minister accepts the short notice and the matter sought to be raised is considered by the Speaker, urgent, the Short Notice Question is admitted and printed in a separate list on the light pink paper in order to distinguish from lists of ordinary questions. The Short Notice Question is taken up after the Question Hour. 

For Information on Rules of Procedure relating to Questions click here

For Information on Directions by the Speaker relating to Questions click here

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