Notwithstanding reservations by some parties, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari has decided to go ahead with shifting the timing of the Question Hour from 11 am to 12 pm from the upcoming session in an apparent move to ensure disruption-free proceedings during this segment.
Question Hour in Rajya Sabha will be between 12 pm and 1 pm instead of 11 am and 12 pm during the Winter Session beginning on November 24, said a senior Parliamentary Affairs Ministry official on Friday.
Accordingly, the Zero Hour will be between 11 am and 12 pm, marking the start of a day’s proceedings.
The official said Rajya Sabha Secretariat has issued the notification to this effect and it has been communicated to all Ministries.
Question Hour, which marks the beginning of a day’s proceedings of a House of Parliament, is often witness to disruptions by members who want to raise issues. Normally, no issues can be raised during the Question Hour except those related to the questions listed for the day.
Other issues can be raised during the Zero Hour.
Ansari, the Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman, has been concerned over the loss of Question Hour time because of the disruptions and the General Purposes Committee of the House headed by him had taken a decision on August 11 to shift swap the Question Hour and the Zero Hour timings.
It had been decided that the new rules will be implemented from the Winter Session.
However, the very next day reservation was voiced in the House over the decision with Samajwadi Party and Congress seeking its reconsideration.
Naresh Agarwal of Samajwadi Party had said that under “no rule”, Zero Hour can take place at 11 am and it will be “invalid” and “void”.
He had said that as per the practice adopted from British Parliamentary system practice, Zero Hour happens at noon.
SP leader Ramgopal Yadav and Subbarami Reddy (Cong) had supported him on the issue.
Earlier also, the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha was shifted to 2 pm a few years ago but it was restored to original timing some days later.