History of Parliamentary Question hour
- September 15, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
The decision to go without “Question Hour” during the Monsoon Session of Parliament has evoked serious concerns about the democratic functioning of the institution.
- The right to question the executive has been exercised by members of the House from the colonial period.
- The first Legislative Council in British India under the Charter Act, 1853, showed some degree of independence by giving members the power to ask questions to the executive.
- Later, the Indian Council Act of 1861 allowed members to elicit information by means of questions
- However, it was the Indian Council Act, 1892, which formulated the rules for asking questions including short notice questions.
- The next stage of the development of procedures related to questions came up with the framing of rules under the Indian Council Act, 1909, which incorporated provisions for asking supplementary questions by members.
- The Montague-Chelmsford reforms brought forth a significant change in 1919 by incorporating a rule that the first hour of every meeting was earmarked for questions. Parliament has continued this tradition.
- In 1921, there was another change. The question on which a member desired to have an oral answer, was distinguished by him with an asterisk, a star. This marked the beginning of starred questions.