Calling Attention Motion

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 15, 2022, 5:14

During the parliamentary discussion, members get to speak in turns when given the floor by the speaker. However, if an incident or declaration requires immediate discussion for further clarification under public interest, any member can request the Calling Attention Motion.

Being a motion of significance, the speaker allows the rest of the members to speak not over 5 minutes when taking part in discussions notified under the Calling Attention Motion.

What is the Calling Attention Motion?

First introduced in 1954, the Calling Attention Motion is a parliamentary protocol for an immediate discussion in the purview of public interests. It's applicable under all houses where democratically elected candidates meet throughout India (Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Sabha of respective states).

Each member gets 2 chances during a single session for a Calling Attention Motion. However, the final decision to let it roll rests upon the chairperson of the house.

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Calling Attention Motion - Application and Procedure of Response

When applying for a Calling Attention Motion, the applicant must abide by:

  • Advance application (not before three working days)
  • The chairperson should receive the application before the house begins in session.
  • No member can apply for over 2 notices to call for an attention motion.
  • The application must contain the list of members from which the applicant seeks discussion.
  • No debate during attention motion.
  • General provisions to conclude this motion before lunch break (1 p.m.). However, the discussion may get extended subject to the context.

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Calling Attention Motion in the Lok Sabha

For a sitting MP to file for a Calling Attention Motion, they must abide by the following:

  • Notices must be unique (previously considered context would lapse)
  • Submitting notices to the Parliamentary Notice Office
  • A petition with sensitive context may receive an immediate hearing.
  • Speaker may limit one attention motion in a session or entertain the second, provided it comes from a different applicant.
  • All petitions submitted after 10 a.m. will be subject to consideration during the future sessions of the house.

Calling Attention Motion in the Rajya Sabha

Any member of the Rajya Sabha can introduce a Calling Attention Motion under the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business (No. 180). However, they should comply with the following:

  • The attention motion begins with the concerned minister making a brief statement on the floor.
  • Members of the opposition can respond only to seek clarification and not debate its context.
  • All petitions submitted before 10:30 a.m. may get adopted for an immediate hearing. Rest would get forwarded for future sessions.
  • The applicant who calls for the attention motion will get 7 minutes to deliver their point. The rest of the members shall get only 5 minutes to speak on the attention motion.

Introducing the Calling Attention Motion is a unique feature of the Indian parliamentary system. It prioritises the opposition to hold the government accountable for matters relevant to public interests. It's also used as a pressure tactic to make the sitting government uncomfortable by highlighting relevant facts that establish their incompetencies.

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FAQs on Calling Attention Motion

Q.1. Whose presence is mandatory when Calling Attention Motion?

The member who requested the Calling Attention Motion and the speaker must be present to discuss it on the floor.

Q.2. Why is Calling Attention Motion a significant practice?

Upon Calling Attention Motion, the house discusses significant public affairs with a brief statement from the concerned minister.

Q.3. Who is eligible for Calling Attention Motion?

Any legislative assembly member can notify for a Calling Attention Motion, provided they haven't crossed the stipulated quota of 2 notices/sitting.

Q.4. When was the Calling Attention Motion first introduced?

The practice of Calling Attention Motion came into play in 1954.

Q.5. What is the maximum time limit when Calling Attention Motion?

The member of the house Calling Attention Motion must conclude within 7 minutes.