While allowing the Opposition members to move cut motions on the demands for grants of various ministries, which were taken up for adoption without any discussion, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Tuesday ruled that “Constitutional right is a superior right and it overrides practices.”
In her observation, Ms. Kumar noted that the right to move cut motions “is an important right of the members of the House provided in the Constitution which cannot be curtailed.”
After considering the rules and the practice that has been followed in the past with respect to cut motions, the Speaker said she had also examined the constitutional provision, which vests the power in the House of the People to reduce any demand submitted to the House.
“The right to move a cut motion flows from the power vested in the House under Article 113 of the Constitution to assent to any demand subject to a reduction of the amount specified in that demand. This Article or any of the Rules do not make any distinction between the demands which are discussed in the House and those which are guillotined. Article 113 used the words ‘any demand'. It is thus clear that cut motions can be moved on all demands submitted to the House under Article 113 (2),” Ms. Kumar said in her ruling.
Noting that the practice followed so far was that the cut motions on demands which were to be guillotined were not allowed to be moved, the Speaker said she had not found “any rule which bars the moving of cut motions on demands which are not discussed in the House.”
Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta pointed out that Article 113 gave the right to move cut motions on the demands for grants which were not debated and taken up together for adoption.
This is the first time that cut motions on the demands for grants of ministries, which are not discussed in the House, were put to vote. There are about a dozen conditions on the admissibility of cut motions, such as it should not make suggestions for the amendment or repeal of existing laws; it should be confined to one specific matter; it should not raise a question of privilege; and it should not relate to a State subject.