Lack of Quorum in Lok Sabha

Prelims level : Parliament Mains level : GS-II Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
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Why in News?

  • The Lok Sabha began a discussion on the general Budget but the House had to be adjourned before the scheduled time due to lack of quorum.

What is Quorum?

  • Quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly necessary to conduct the business of that assembly.
  • Article 100 of the Indian Constitution states that the quorum to constitute a meeting of either House of Parliament shall be one-tenth of the total number of members of that House.
  • This means that the quorum of Lok Sabha (Lower House) is 55 and that of Rajya Sabha (Upper House) is 25.

Who decides the Quorum?

  • The quorum is usually decided at the beginning of the session and if it is not present when a vote is taken, the vote is invalid.
  • In the event of inadequate quorum, the Speaker or the Chairman can adjourn the House or suspend the sitting till the quorum is present.

Challenging a Quorum:

  • Furthermore, the quorum can be challenged by any member of the House.
  • In the event that the quorum is challenged, the Speaker or the Chairman can direct that a count of the members present be taken.
  • If the quorum is not present, the House is adjourned. However, if the quorum is present, the business of the House is resumed.

Other important events in Parliament:

  • Summoning of Parliament: Summoning is the process of calling all members of the Parliament to meet. The President summons each House of the Parliament from time to time. The gap between two sessions of the Parliament cannot exceed 6 months, which means the Parliament meets at least two times in one year.
  • Adjournment: Adjournment terminates the sitting of the House which meets again at the time appointed for the next sitting. The postponement may be for a specified time such as hours, days or weeks. If the meeting is terminated without any definite time/ date fixed for the next meeting, it is called Adjournment sine die.
  • Prorogation: Prorogation is the end of a session. A prorogation puts an end to a session. The time between the Prorogation and reassembly is called Recess. Prorogation is the end of session and not the dissolution of the house (in case of Lok Sabha, as Rajya Sabha does not dissolve).
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