Adjournment Motion

The adjournment motion is introduced in the Parliament to draw the attention of the House to a definite matter of urgent public importance and needs the support of 50 members to be admitted. It can be said to be one of the important devices of parliamentary proceedings. In other words, the Adjournment motion is an extraordinary procedure which, when admitted, leads to setting aside the normal business of the House for discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance.

It is regarded as an extraordinary device because it interrupts the normal business of the House.

Latest Update: Congress MP on 23rd July has moved a motion of Adjournment of the business in Lok Sabha to discuss over “Pegasus Project” media report.

To note, Adjournment motion in Hindi is called, ‘स्थगन प्रस्ताव.’

Aspirants would find this topic very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

This topic is important for GS-II – Indian Polity section of the UPSC Syllabus.

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What is an Adjournment motion?

  • The main object of an adjournment motion is to draw the attention of the House to a recent matter of urgent public importance having serious consequences, and with regard to which a motion or a resolution with proper notice will be too late.
  • The proposed matter to be raised has to be a serious issue that affects the whole country and its security, and the House is required to pay its attention immediately by interrupting the normal business of the House.
  • The subject of the motion must have a direct or indirect relation to the conduct or default on the part of the Union Government.
  • It must precisely pinpoint the failure of the Government of India in the performance of its duties in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Law.
  • A matter which falls within the jurisdiction of a State Government is not admissible, but a matter related to the constitutional developments in a State or atrocities on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections of the society which bring the Union Government into the picture may be considered for admission on merits.
  • The refusal to give consent is in the absolute discretion of the Chair and the Chair is not bound to give any reasons, therefore.

To know more about different kinds of parliamentary motions, read the linked article: Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings.

Procedure of Notice

  • All copies of the notice should be given to Parliamentary Notice Office.
  • A member can give not more than one notice for anyone sitting.
  • If notice is signed by more than one member, it is deemed to have been given by the first signatory only.
  • A ballot is held to determine the relative priority of all notices received on the same subject for the sitting for which they are valid.
  • Every notice shall be given in writing.
  • As a convention, adjournment motions are not taken up on the day of the President’s address. Notices received for that day are treated as notices for the next sitting.
  • It needs the support of 50 members to be admitted.
  • Lok Sabha Speaker may, before giving or refusing her/his consent, read out the notice of the motion and hear from the Minister and/ or members concerned, a brief statement of facts and then give the decision on the admissibility of the motion.

Time for Discussion of Adjournment Motion

  • The motion is normally taken up at 16.00 hours.
  • The time allotted for discussion is not less than two and a half hours, unless the debate concludes earlier.
  • When the motion is being discussed, the Speaker has no power to adjourn the House for the day because during that time the power vests in the House to take a decision on its adjournment.
  • The Speaker cannot also postpone the voting to the next sitting, even if a request is made to that effect. The motion has to be disposed of before the House is adjourned.

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Restrictions on the Adjournment motion

The right to move a motion for an adjournment of the business of the House is subject to the following restrictions:

  1. It should raise a matter which is definite, factual, urgent and of public importance.
  2. It should not cover more than one matter.
  3. It should be restricted to a specific matter of recent occurrence and should not be framed in general terms.
  4. It should not raise a question of privilege.
  5. It should not revive discussion on a matter that has been discussed in the same session.
  6. It should not deal with any matter that is under adjudication by the court.
  7. It should not raise any question that can be raised on a distinct motion.

An adjournment motion involves an element of censure against the Government. Therefore, Rajya Sabha is not permitted to make use of this device. In the event of an adjournment motion being adopted, the House automatically stands adjourned.

Adjournment Motion – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

FAQ about Adjournment motion

Who can introduce an adjournment motion?

Adjournment motion can be moved only in Lok Sabha. It is introduced in the Lok Sabha to draw the attention of the House to a definite matter of urgent public importance.

How many kinds of motion are there in parliament?

The motions moved by the members to raise discussions on various matters fall into three principal categories. They are substantive motion, substitute motion and subsidiary motion.

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