#NewsBytesExplainer: What's Rule 267 that Opposition invoked in Rajya Sabha?
Both houses of the Parliament have been witnessing a stormy winter session over the recent India-China clash at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The Opposition has been demanding a discussion on the matter in Rajya Sabha under Rule 267, with many MPs seeking the suspension of listed businesses. This has put the spotlight on the upper house's Rule 267. Here's everything to know.
Why does this story matter?
- Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday said he received nine notices under Rule 267, requesting the suspension of the listed business and the commencement of a debate on LAC clash.
- Despite his rejection of all nine notices as "deficient," citing the lack of fulfillment of the rules, Rule 267 has garnered attention among legislators and experts following the latest developments.
What does Rule 267 say?
Rajya Sabha's Rule 267 says any MP can move the notice to suspend routine business in the house to discuss urgent issues. However, only the chairperson has the authority to approve the motion. If a proposal by any member is accepted, the listed business in the upper house can be postponed, allowing a discussion on urgent matters of public concern, according to Rule 267.
Who can invoke Rule 267?
Rule 267 allows any member of Rajya Sabha to request a discussion on any subject with the chairperson's consent. The last time the rule was invoked was in November 2016 to debate the Centre's demonetization. Since 2016, Rajya Sabha hasn't authorized debates under Rule 267.
Significance of Rule 267 in current scenario
By invoking Rule 267, Opposition lawmakers wanted a discussion on the India-China border issue at the ongoing winter session of the Parliament. Although hundreds of notices have been issued by MPs under this rule over the last eight years, the recent LAC clash in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang sector gave it traction in recent days. Opposition members' consistent and outspoken demands also highlighted Rule 267.
What made Rule 267 contentious?
Opposition members said that the Rajya Sabha chairperson, under the BJP rule, has constantly rejected allowing any discussion under Rule 267. On the other hand, Dhankhar said on Monday that the actual rule has been "outraged" and has not received any attention in the nine notices he received. "The notices are drawn in a manner as if the rule doesn't exist," he added.
A little about the LAC clash
Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed along the LAC in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh last week addressed the Parliament over the LAC clash. He stated the Indian Army in Tawang foiled China's plot to "unilaterally change the status quo" and make a land grab, adding that the issue was also raised with China through diplomatic channels.