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The rules which the members are required to observe in the House are technically known as Parliamentary Etiquette. These are based on the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha and also on the Rulings given by the Speaker from time to time. The following is the list of some of the important rules of parliamentary etiquette which members have generally to observe in the House:—

  1. Member should be present in the House a few minutes before
    1. the scheduled time of commencement of sitting, which is ordinarily 11.00 hours;
    2. and the time fixed by the Chair for reassembly of the House after lunch-break.

    When the Speaker comes to take the Chair in the House the marshal announces his arrival in the following words:

    (“Hon’ble members, Hon’ble the Speaker”). As soon as the Speaker enters the Chamber, members should stop all conversation, return to their seats and rise in their places. members who enter the House at that time should stand silently in the gangway till the Speaker takes the Chair and thereafter they should go to their seats;

  2. Members should bow to the Chair while entering or leaving the House, and also when taking or leaving their seats;
  3. Members should not read any book, newspapers or letter except in connection with the business of the House;
  4. Members should not interrupt any member while speaking, by disorderly expression or noises or in any other disorderly manner;
  5. Members should not leave the House when the Speaker is addressing the House;
  6. A member should keep to his usual seat while addressing the House;
  7. Members should maintain silence when not speaking in the House;
  8. A member should not obstruct proceedings, hiss or interrupt and should avoid making running commentaries when another member is speaking;
  9. Members should not applaud when a stranger enters any of the Galleries, or the Special Box;
  10. Members should not shout slogans in the House;
  11. A member should not sit or stand with his back towards the Chair;
  12. A member should not approach the Chair personally in the House. He may send chits to the officers at the Table, if necessary;
  13. Members should not wear or display badges of any kind in the House;
  14. Members should not bring or display arms in the House;
  15. Members should not display flags, emblems or any exhibits in the House;
  16. A member should not leave the House immediately after delivering his speech; courtesy to the House requires that after finishing their speeches members resume their seats and leave the House only afterwards, if necessary;
  17. Members should not distribute within the precincts of Parliament House any literature, questionnaire, pamphlets, press notes, leaflets etc.;
  18. Member should not place his hat or cap on the desk in the House, bring boards in the Chamber for keeping files or for writing purposes, smoke or enter the House with his coat hanging on the arms;
  19. A member should not carry walking stick into the House unless permitted by the Speaker on health grounds;
  20. A member should not tear off documents in the House in protest;
  21. A member should not bring or play cassette or tape recorders in the House;
  22. Members should avoid talking or laughing in lobby loud enough to be heard in the House;

    [Rule 349]

  23. Members should not stand in the passage of the Chamber. They should either sit down or go out;
  24. A member should not “cross the floor” when the House is sitting—that is, he should not pass between the Chair and the Member who is speaking;
  25. During a sitting a Member should, if necessary, go out quickly by a back door close to his seat without causing any disturbance to the House;
  26. Members should not talk amongst themselves but if indispensably necessary, they may do so only in very low voice, so as not to disturb the proceedings. Talks by members, though not very audible at a distance, may yet considerably disturb the Chair due to special sound arrangements;
  27. While the House is sitting, every member should enter and leave the Chamber with decorum and in such a manner as not to disturb the proceedings in the House;
  28. Two members should not keep standing in the House at the same time;
  29. A member while speaking should not—
    1. refer to any matter of fact on which a judicial decision is pending;
    2. make personal reference by way of making an allegation imputing a motive to or questioning the 99 bona fides of any other member of the House unless it be imperatively necessary for the purpose of the debate being itself a matter in issue or relevant thereto;
    3. use offensive expressions about the conduct or proceedings of Parliament or any State Legislature;
    4. reflect on any determination of the House except on a motion for rescinding it;
    5. reflect upon the conduct of persons in high authority unless the discussion is based on a substantive motion drawn in proper terms;

      Explanation:—the words ‘persons in high authority’ mean persons whose conduct can only be discussed on a substantive motion drawn in proper terms under the Constitution or such other persons whose conduct, in the opinion of the Speaker, should be discussed on a substantive motion drawn up in terms to be approved by him.

    6. use the President’s name for the purpose of influencing the debate;
    7. utter treasonable, seditious or defamatory words;
    8. use his right of speech for the purpose of obstructing the business of the House;
    9. make any reference to the strangers in any of the galleries;
    10. refer to Government officials by name;
    11. read a written speech except with the previous permission of the Chair; and
    12. address individual members of the House but should address the Chair.
  30. No member should raise in the House the subject matter of a notice or a communication sent by him to the Speaker or the Lok Sabha Secretariat unless he has been specifically permitted by the Speaker. If no intimation has been received by the member, he should presume that the matter is under the consideration of the Speaker or has been disallowed by the Speaker

    Submissions made by members only with the permission of the Chair are recorded in the proceedings of the House.

  31. Every member should resume his seat as soon as the Speaker rises to speak, or calls out “Order”, and also when any other member is in possession of the floor (i.e. speaking with the permission of the Chair) or has interposed in the course of the debate to raise a point of order.
  32. A member is not allowed to read the speech for another member
  33. It is desirable that, as far as practicable, a member should not be referred to by name, but in some other suitable way, e.g., as “the member who has last spoken”, “the member representing........... constituency”, “the member from............”, etc. If unavoidably necessary, full name may be used.
  34. No member is to argue with another member when the latter is speaking. He may, however, ask through the Chair questions with a view to obtaining information from the member who is speaking. But a member who is addressing the House with the permission of the Chair should not be interrupted by another member persistently. It is open to the former not to give way but to go on with his speech if the interruption is not for raising a point of order.
  35. Repetition of the arguments of previous speakers or one’s own should as far as practicable, be avoided.
  36. No member should speak to the Galleries from inside the House nor should he make any reference or appeal to the persons seated there. Except for the visiting foreign dignitaries whose presence in the Special Box is brought to the notice of the House by the Speaker, applause for any person sitting in the Gallery is out of order.
  37. It is not in order for members, other than Ministers to consult officials in the Officials Gallery from inside the House
  38. Documents cited by a member in course of his speech, which are not available to other members, should be kept ready to be placed by him on Table of the House, if there is demand to that effect and the Chair so directs.
  39. Words containing insinuations and offensive and unparliamentary expressions should be avoided. When the Chair holds that a particular word or expression is unparliamentary, it should be immediately withdrawn without any attempt to raise any debate over it. Words or expressions held to be unparliamentary and ordered to be expunged by the Chair are omitted from the Debates. A list of such words or expressions is compiled annually and the same is available in the Parliament Library for reference.
  40. A member having a personal, pecuniary or direct interest in a matter to be decided by the House is expected, while taking part in the proceedings on that matter, to declare his interest. It would avoid raising of objections regarding his vote at the time of division. [Rule 371]
  41. When a member is making a maiden speech he should not be interrupted.
  42. No speech made in Rajya Sabha should be quoted in the House unless it is a definite statement of policy by a Minister

    The Speaker may, however, on a request being made to him in advance, give permission to a member to quote a speech or make reference to the proceedings in Rajya Sabha if he thinks that such a course is necessary in order to enable the member to develop a point of privilege or procedure. [Rule 354]

  43. A statement made by a Minister from the records in his possession should be accepted as correct unless a point is deliberately raised to challenge it.
  44. A member against whom charges are made personally on the floor of the House may, with the permission of the Speaker, make a personal explanation although there is no question before the House. In this case no debatable matter should be brought forward and no debate should arise. No member is permitted to make a statement by way of personal explanation unless a copy thereof has been submitted in writing by him to the Speaker sufficiently in advance and the Speaker has approved it. Words, phrases and expressions which are not in the statement approved by the Speaker if spoken, cannot form part of the proceedings of the House.

    [Rule 357 and Direction 115C]

  45. If any statement is imputed to another member, and the latter says that he did not make that statement, the contradiction should be accepted without demur
  46. The Speaker may direct any member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the House, and any member so ordered to withdraw should do so forthwith and should absent himself during the remainder of the day’s sitting. [Rule 373]
  47. When any member offers a criticism of another member or Minister, the latter is entitled to expect that the critic should be present in the House to hear his reply. To be absent when the latter is replying is a breach of parliamentary etiquette.



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