CIVIL, Parliamentary Practice

ADJOURNMENT MOTIONS

Parliament

A Parliamentary procedural term

The purpose of Adjournment Motion is to draw the attention of the House to a definite matter of urgent public importance and seek discussion on the subject forthwith by adjourning the Business before the House. This gives an opportunity to a member to raise an issue to discuss it thereadbare on the Floor of the House. The principal ingredients of the motion are as follows :

(i) The matter raised should be a definite one. It must relate to some precise, recent action or omission of the Government.

(ii) The matter raised should be urgent. It has arisen suddenly and it is in the nature of urgency and it brooks no delay;

(iii) The matter raised should be of public importance. The importance of the matter demands interruption of the Business of the House by means of adjournment of the normal Business of the House. It is a question of public concern.

Notice :
Notice of adjournment motion in triplicate addressed to the Speaker, the Minister concerned and to the Secretary should be given to the Secretary one hour before the commencement of the sitting on the day on which the motion is proposed to be made.

Restrictions on right to make motion :

The right to move the adjournment of the Assembly for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance shall be subject to the following restrictions –

(i) Not more than one such motion shall be made at the same sitting;
(ii) Not more than one matter shall be discussed on the same motion;
(iii) The motion shall be restricted to a specific matter of recent occurrence;
(iv) The motion shall not raise a question of privilege;
(v) The motion shall not revive discussion on a matter which has been discussed
in the same Session;
(vi) The motion shall not anticipate a matter which has previously been posted for
consideration. In determining whether a discussion is out of order on the
ground of anticipation, regard shall be had by the Speaker to the probability of
the matter anticipated being brought before the Assembly within a reasonable time;
(vii) The motion shall not raise any question which under Constitution or the rules
can only be raised on a distinct motion by a notice given in writing to the Secretary; and
(viii) The motion must not deal with a matter on which a Resolution could not be
moved.

No motion which seeks to raise discussion on a matter pending before any statutory tribunal or statutory authority performing any judicial or quasi-judicial functions or any Commission or Court of Enquiry or a competent authority appointed to enquire into or investigate any matter is not permitted to be moved. The Speaker may however in his discretion allows such matter being raised in the Assembly as is concerned with the procedure or subject or stage of enquiry if the Speaker is satisfied that it is not likely to prejudice the consideration of such matter by the Tribunal or Commission or Court of Enquiry or Competent Authority.

Consent of the Speaker :

In case the Speaker is satisfied that the matter proposed to be discussed is in order under
the rules, he may give his consent to move the motion.

Mode of asking for leave to move an adjournment motion :

The Speaker, at the appropriate time, that is, after the question hour and before the list of Business is entered upon, calls the members concerned to ask for leave of the House to move the adjournment motion.

If objection to leave being granted is taken, the Speaker requests the members who are
in favour of leave being granted to rise in their places and if not less than one tenth of total membership of the House rise accordingly, the Speaker intimate that leave is granted. If less than one tenth of total membership of the Assembly rise, the Speaker informs the members that he has not sanctioned the leave of the House.

Generally, if a notice is signed by more than one member, it shall be treated to have been given by the first signatory only and when such member is available in the House, there is no need for the rest to be present.

Time for taking up motion :

If leave of the house has been given for making the motion, the Speaker informs the
House that the motion will be taken up the same day or at the request of the Leader of
the House or any Minister in his absence, on the next day at the hour appointed by the
Speaker.
Where the Speaker is of the view that the notice of adjournment motion is not
admissible, he refuses his consent. The Speaker may, if necessary, hear the member
concerned before refusing his consent or holding the motion as not being in order.

Form of question to be put :

On a motion for the purpose of discussion on a definite matter of urgent public importance, the only question that may be put should be “that the Assembly do now adjourn.”
If the debate is not concluded within two hours from the time at which it was commenced, it shall automatically terminate and thereafter no question shall be put. The Assembly may proceed to transact other Business for the day after the debate on the motion has concluded.