Motions in Parliament – Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings, Types of Motions

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The types of motions in parliament form the basis of the parliamentary devices. Devices of parliamentary proceedings ensure that the members of the Parliament comply with the procedural rules of the houses. Both houses of the Parliament express their views or opinions on a variety of issues by adopting or rejecting motions submitted by ministries or private members. The numerous types of motions in parliament are adjournment motion, call-attention motion, censure motion, motion of thanks, no-confidence motion etc.

The motions in parliament are a pivotal part of the devices of parliamentary proceedings. The categories of motions include substantive, substitute, and subsidiary. Members of the Parliament use motions in parliament to raise and resolve public issues. These procedures help the Parliament adapt to the changing public needs and allow members to voice their concerns in the respective Houses effectively.

Motions in Parliament – Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings

There are few rules associated with announcing the motions in Parliament. The acceptability of the motion in the house is dependent upon numerous factors. The Speaker possesses the right to inquire about the motion in variable ways. The types of motions in Parliament, along with their description, has been provided here-

Motions in Parliament UPSC PDF

Adjournment Motion

An extraordinary procedure is used to call the attention of the Lower House in case of an urgency, where it will be too late to give proper notice. The adjournment motion is presented as a matter of public concern.

It needs the assent of 50 members to be able to admit. It is usually raised when the matter requires the immediate attention of all the members of Parliament and is a threat to the integrity of the nation.

Call-Attention Motion

Used to invite the attention of the respective minister to a pressing public issue. Demands an official statement in response. Hence, the name call attention motion.

This motion can be presented in both houses of Parliament [Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha]. The time limit for presenting the motion is 7 minutes, this can be followed by questions. The Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, presented the call-attention motion in the winter session of the 2021 parliamentary session.

Censure Motion

It can be moved against one minister or the entire Council of Ministers. Used to censure them for some grievous actions. This type of motion can be presented by the opposition party to criticize the ministers, government, or the policies introduced by the government. This motion indicates harsh criticism and ardent disagreement.

Closure Motion

Moved by a member demanding cutting short the matter in debate. A Simple Closure Motion is moved when a member feels that a matter has been sufficiently dealt with. Closure by Compartments demands the division of a lengthy resolution into parts.

  • Kangaroo Closure demands that only crucial parts of a resolution may be discussed.
  • Guillotine Closure is moved when undiscussed parts of a resolution are put to the vote along with the discussed ones citing the dearth of time.

Cut Motions

Used to oppose a demand for grants. Policy Cut Motion demands a cut of Rs. 1- a symbolic measure to express dissent.

Economy Cut Motion demands a cut of a specific amount. Token Cut Motion demands a cut of Rs. 100.

The motion of Thanks

The President addresses the opening session of each fiscal year and the first session following each general election.

If this motion cannot be passed, the government is deemed to have lost its majority.

No Date Yet Named Motion

The Speaker has approved the motion, but no date for deliberation has been set.

No-Confidence Motion

Based on the principle of collective responsibility. If a no-confidence motion is passed, the government is said to have lost its majority. A simple majority (51%) is needed to pass the no-confidence motion. This motion can only be presented in Lok Sabha.

Point of Order

Point of Order is a device of parliamentary proceedings used when a member feels that the House’s proceedings do not adhere to the established rules of procedure. The decision presented by the chair is considered to be final and no further discussions are allowed.

Privilege Motion

Moved by an MP if (s)he believes that a minister violated the House privilege. Used to condemn the concerned minister officially.

  • The parliamentarians are facilitated with certain privileges that will assist them in pursuing their roles and responsibilities efficiently.
  • In case someone starts to misuse the privileges provided to them, it is called a breach of privilege.
  • This can be presented against the members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Special Mention

Matters that were not raised in other motions can be moved through Special Mention in the Upper House. In the Lower House, it is called Notice Mention.

Different Categories of Motions In Parliament

There are different categories of motions in parliament based on their purposes. The three major categories such as the substantive motion, subsidiary motion, and substitute motion. Walk through the points that have been elaborated here to get the complete details of the different categories of motions in Parliament.

  • Substantive Motion– This is a free-standing manifesto that is presented in the House. It has been formulated in a way to demonstrate the proposal.
  • Substitute Motion– It is a replacement of other motions. They are associated with some other motions of the house.
  • Subsidiary Motion– The subsidiary motions are also related to the other motions in the House. There are numerous types of subsidiary motions, such as the ancillary motion, superseding motions, and amendments.

Formal Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings

The formal devices of parliamentary proceedings include the question hour, half an hour discussion, and duration discussion. While the informal includes the zero hour. Check out the details of the question hour, half-an-hour discussion, and short-duration discussion.

Question Hour

Members of Parliament have the first hour of each sitting session to ask questions regarding any aspect of administrative activity. The three types of questions that can be asked in the question hour are:

  • Starred Questions
  • Unstarred Questions
  • Short-Notice Questions

Half-an-Hour Discussion

The presiding officer shall allow a half-hour between 5 PM and 5.30 PM to discuss a crucial public issue that requires factual clarification.

Short-Duration Discussion

Permits members to address pressing public-interest concerns without the need to make a formal motion.

The Informal Device of Parliamentary Proceedings

The informal device of Parliamentary proceedings comprises zero hour. It follows the question hour, check out the rest of the factors concerning the informal device of parliamentary proceedings.

  • Begins at noon, immediately following Question Hour.
  • Each member gets three minutes to address a problem.
  • They have to give notice to the presiding officer before 10 AM.

Rules for Parliamentary Motions

In India, the motions in parliament are governed by a set of rules and regulations. These rules and procedures are listed in detail in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Some of these rules include the notice of motion, priority, and debate on a motion in parliament.

In addition, the rules also include the procedure to make amendments to any existing motion. However, the amendment must be relevant to the subject matter of the motion. Also, a member who has given notice of a motion in parliament can withdraw it with the permission of the Speaker or Chairman before it has been moved.

Importance of Motions in Parliament

Motions in parliament are significant for the functioning of the Indian Parliament. This is because they provide a way for the members to raise issues of public concern and hold the government accountable.

  • By moving a motion and initiating a debate, members can draw attention to important issues and highlight the need for action.
  • Members can use motions to initiate legislative action, such as the introduction of a bill or the amendment of an existing law.
  • Members can use motions to hold the government accountable for its actions or inactions.
  • Motions in parliament provide a forum for public discourse and debate on a wide range of issues.
  • By moving a motion and asking questions, members can demand transparency and accountability.

Types of Cut Motions

In the Indian Parliament, cut motions are used by Members of Parliament (MPs) to oppose certain elements in the budget. These motions can only be moved by the Lok Sabha. There are three types of cut motions in the Indian Parliament:

  • Policy Cut Motion: A policy cut motion is moved to oppose a particular policy of the government that is reflected in the budget.
  • Economy Cut Motion: This motion is moved to reduce the amount of expenditure proposed by the government. If an economy cut motion is passed, the amount of expenditure proposed by the government is reduced.
  • Token Cut Motion: This motion aims to draw attention to a specific issue rather than to reduce the amount of expenditure proposed by the government.
UPSC Notes
Parliamentary Committees Joint Sitting of Parliament
Parliamentary Privileges Functions of Parliament
Sessions of Parliament Types of Majorities in Parliament
Parliamentary Form of Government Constitution of India
Fundamental Rights Preamble of Indian Constitution
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