What is Rule 267 in Rajya Sabha? Why is it in news?

Rule 267 was last invoked in the Rajya Sabha on November 16, 2016, when it allowed the issue of demonetisation to be taken up. 

Created On: Aug 8, 2021 16:40 IST
Rajya Sabha Chairperson
Rajya Sabha Chairperson

Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu has been receiving almost 10-15 notices from MPs under Rule 267 in Rajya Sabha. The Chairperson has been rejecting all these written notices from opposition Members of Parliament. 

The Rajya Sabha Chairperson has rejected several hundred notices under Rule 267 since 2016, on subjects ranging from the Rafale deal to the implementation of GST and more recently on Pegasus, farmers' protests and fuel price rise. 

Congress MP KC Venugopal had given a notice under rule 267 in Rajya Sabha to suspend the business and discuss the rise in the price of fuel and essential commodities. 

CPI(M) MPs Dr V Sivadasan and Elamaram Kareem had also given a suspension of business notice under rule 267 to discuss the farmers' protest in Rajya Sabha.

DMK Rajya Sabha MP Tiruchi Siva had also given a suspension of business notice under rule 267 over demand to discuss the Mekedatu Dam issue in the House.

Trinamul member Sukhendu Sekhar Ray and a dozen members had given notices under Rule 267 to discuss Pegasus allegations. 

What is Rule 267 in Rajya sabha?

Under Rajya Sabha's Rule 267, any member, can with the consent of the Chairperson, move that any rule may be suspended in its application to a motion related to the business listed before the Council of that day and if the motion is carried, the rule in question shall be suspended for the time being. 

What this means is that a notice issued under rule 267 seeks to set aside the upper house's listed business of the day to discuss the subject raise by one or more members. 

Exception

The rule will not apply where specific provisions already exist for suspension of a rule under a particular chapter of the Rules.

Who can issue a notice under Rule 267?

Any member of Rajya Sabha can issue a notice to the Chairperson for a discussion on any subject under Rule 267. 

Why is Rule 267 rarely invoked in Rajya Sabha?

No notice under rule 267 has been accepted by the Rajya Sabha Chairperson since November 2016, informed Sukhendu Sekhar Ray of the Trinamool Congress (TMC). He stated this while urging the Rajya Sabha Chairperson to allow them to discuss the issues highlighted by the opposition MPs under the rule. 

Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu said that Rule 267  is rarely used and suggested that the matter be taken up by the House’s General Purposes Committee, “whenever” it met. He said he wants the house to function and discuss the issues. 

When was Rule 267 last invoked?

The Rajya Sabha has not allowed discussions under Rule 267 for nearly five years. The last time the Rajya Sabha witnessed a discussion under Rule 267 was on November 16, 2016, when it allowed the issue of demonetisation to be taken up. 

Rule 267 was invoked one other time as well on April 23, 2015 when the Rajya Sabha had discussed the agrarian crisis. Both times, Hamid Ansari was the Chairperson of the Upper House of the Parliament. 

Is there a similar provision in the Lok Sabha?

The Lok Sabha has the adjournment motion, through which members may demand discussion on unlisted matters they deem important. The last adjournment motion was allowed six years ago in August 2015.

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