LS takes up question in absence of member

Absence of a member during the Question Hour on Thursday did not stop the Lok Sabha from taking up a question submitted by him.

Last Updated: Aug 26, 2010, 15:25 PM IST

New Delhi: Absence of a member during the
Question Hour on Thursday did not stop the Lok Sabha from taking up
a question submitted by him.

With the help of amended rules of business, Speaker Meira
Kumar directed Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel to answer
the question put by Ratan Singh Ajnala (Akali Dal) on
`outsourcing of services at airports` even in his absence from
the House.

"As per the amended rules, the question is now the
property of the House. I ask the minister to reply to it,"
Kumar said when Ajnala`s absence was brought to her notice.
This was the first question listed for the day.

The Speaker then called Rangaswamy Dhruvanarayana (Cong)
to put the first supplementary question. However, this and the
another query that followed did not relate to the subject of
the Question and went unanswered.

The third question also was not related to the subject,
but an exasperated Patel offered to answer.

Nripendra Nath Roy (Forward Bloc) had asked when the
airport in his Coochbehar constituency in north Bengal would
start functioning.

Patel said the airport was ready and the government was
prepared to grant approval for flight operations to any
airline wanting to do so.

The Lok Sabha Rules Committee had in February decided to
amend rules on Question Hour to ensure that it proceeded
without interruption even if the member who asked the question
was absent.

According to the new rules, all listed questions must be
taken up even if the member who has asked the question is not
present.

The Speaker took the decision during the Winter Session
last year after she was forced to adjourn the Question Hour on
a day when 28 members who had given notices for questions were
absent.

The Rajya Sabha had amended the rules on Question Hour on
December 15 last year.

PTI