Chapter 4
Laying of Papers on the Table of the House

General procedure

4.1 Papers, reports or statements may be required to be laid on the Table of the House under different circumstances. The broad procedure to be followed for the purpose is indicated below:

PRO 6.1(a) 
SD 116

 

(a)    At least three clear sitting days’ notice is required for laying a document of the above kind on the Table of the House.

PRO 6.2
PRO 6.3
SD 116(3)

 

(b)  Where papers are proposed to be laid at less than three days’ notice, it can be done usually only with the permission of the Speaker/Chairman, which will be obtained through the LS/RS Secretariat. When a Minister is permitted to lay a paper at short notice, the Ministry concerned should arrange to supply the authenticated copy and the usual number of copies of the paper to the LS/RS Secretariat as soon as the permission is accorded and in any case before the paper is laid on the Table.

PRO 6.1(a)

 

(c)  The number of copies (English and Hindi versions) to be supplied to the LS/RS Secretariat for the above purpose is to be ascertained from the concerned Secretariat.

PRO 6.6, 6.18

 

(d)  Where it is proposed to distribute copies to members, additional copies (as ascertained from the LS/RS Secretariat) will be sent.

 

 

(e)  The communication forwarding the copies to the LS/RS Secretariat will indicate inter alia:

PRO 6.1(i)

 

      (i) whether they are to be laid on the Table or   they are only meant for distribution to members;

PRO 6.1(a)

 

      (ii) the date on which it is proposed to lay the document in question on the Table of the House; or

PRO 6.1(d)

 

      (iii) whether the date on which the document is to be laid on the Table of the House is to be fixed in consultation with the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; and

PRO 6.1(b)

 

      (iv) the name, designation and telephone number of the officer from whom additional copies of the document could be obtained, if need be;

 PRO 6.1(a)

 

(f)  one copy each in Hindi and English, out of (c) above will be duly authenticated by the Minister concerned, preferably on the front page of the  paper, in the form indicated below:

      “Paper to be laid on the Table of Lok/Rajya Sabha.

      AUTHENTICATED

      New Delhi,             (Signature)

      Date the     Minister of..............................”

 

 

(g)  Two copies of all papers sent to the LS/RS Secretariat vide (c) above, will also be sent to the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.

PRO 6.1

 

(h)  Ordinarily, and as far as possible, all papers including reports/audit reports required to be laid on the Table will be laid in both English and Hindi versions simultaneously. However, if in exceptional and unavoidable circumstances, it is not possible to lay both the versions simultaneously, the Minister concerned, while laying one version, should invariably lay a statement explaining the reasons for not laying the other version, and also indicating the time that would be taken for submission of the other version. In such cases, the other version should be laid on the Table either in the same session or at the most in the first week of the next session, along with a statement inviting attention to the fact of the reports in the first version, English or Hindi, having been laid on the Table earlier on a particular date. In the event of only one version being laid, the departments should get a waiver from the Presiding Officer of the House for doing so.

PRO 6.1(f)

 

(i)   If, for any reason, the Minister concerned is not in a position to be present, he will inform the Speaker/Chairman in advance the name of the Minister who would lay the paper on his behalf. A copy of this communication will also be endorsed to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and the Table Office, LS/RS Secretariat, so as to reach them at least one hour before the commencement of the sitting.

PRO 6.1(g)

 

(j)   All reports, required to be laid on the Table of the House, will be released to the Press only after they have been so laid. However, reports under the Companies Act, 1956 may be circulated to the members directly by the government companies immediately after their annual general meetings and laid on the Table of the House as soon as possible thereafter.

PRO 6.1(j)

 

(k)  Papers meant for being laid on the Table of the Houses will not be sent during the period between the adjournment of the Houses sine die and issuing of the notification regarding the commencement of the next session.

PRO 6.4

 

(l)   Whenever any report of enquiry, in regard to serious accidents (mining, explosions, etc.), which have previously been brought to the notice of the Lok/Rajya Sabha through adjournment motions or otherwise, is laid on the Table of the House, the Minister concerned will make a brief statement giving a summary of the report and the cause of the accident.

PRO 6.17

 

(m) In cases where undue delay occurs in laying a document on the Table of the House, a statement giving reasons for delay will also be laid on the Table.

 

4.2 The broad procedure to be followed with regard to laying on the Table ‘sensitive notifications’, i.e., those notifications which make changes in export duties, major changes in procedures and changes in import and Central excise duties involving revenue of more than Rs. 50 lakhs per annum, except cases where an existing concession is being continued, is indicated below:

PRO 6.22(1)

 

(i)   Such a notification should be published in the Gazette Extraordinary.

PRO 6.22(2)
PRO 6.23

 

(ii)  If sent to press before 18.00 hours it should be laid on the Table on the same day just before the adjournment of the House, even without G.S.R/S.O. number which may be intimated later, after seeking time and permission from the Presiding Officer in writing for laying it. Copies along with a copy of the letter addressed to the Presiding Officer should be delivered to the Table Office by 14.00 hours. Clear and precise subject of the notification along with the relevant provisions in the Act requiring their laying on the Table should be included in the forwarding letter.

PRO 6.22(3)

 

(iii) If sent to press after 18.00 hours, copies should be sent for circulation to Members of Parliament by midnight the same day and the notification should be formally laid at the next sitting.

 

 

However, if in any particular case the issue of a notification was not anticipated and, therefore, copies could not be made, the Minister concerned should address a letter to the Presiding Officer the same night enclosing a copy of the notification and informing him of his intention to lay the notification at the next sitting.

PRO 6.22(4)

 

(iv) Copies of all such communications sent to the Presiding Officers, should be endorsed to the Secretary General, Lok/Rajya Sabha and the Table Office of the LS/RS Secretariat.

PRO 6.22(4)

 

(v)  Notifications, other than the sensitive notifications issued under the Customs & Central Excise Act, should be laid within seven days of their publication, with GSR/SO number.

PRO 6.22(4)

 

(vi) If the House is not in session, all notifications, including sensitive ones should be laid within seven days of the commencement of the next session.