1. Rule 54 and Direction 18 prescribe the procedure to be followed regarding asking
and answering of Short Notice Questions.
2. The notice for a Short Notice Question should be addressed to the Secretary-General
in the prescribed form available in the Parliamentary Notice Office. Brief reasons
for asking the question at short notice should invariably be stated at the appropriate
place of the form. Where such reasons are not stated, the notice is returned to
the member. A general statement that the matter is of “wide public importance”
or “public interest”, is not considered adequate for this purpose.
3. The name of the member should be written in block letters below the signature.
The member’s Division number should also be indicated. Notice bearing stamped
signature of the member is treated as unsigned notice. Unsigned notice of Short
Notice Question is not accepted and returned to the member. Question written in
illegible hand is liable to be returned to the member.
4. If a notice is signed by more than one member, it will be deemed to have been
given by the first signatory only. Each notice of a question may, therefore, be
signed by only one member.
5. Members should not give identical notices of a Short Notice Question. Where
identical notices of a Short Notice Question are received from different members,
a ballot is held to determine the name of only one member in whose name the question,
if admitted, may appear. The other notices, which fail to secure priority in the
ballot are treated as disallowed. Similarly, any other identical notice, which is
received subsequently, is treated as disallowed.
6. Besides, being subject to the rules as to the form and content as for ordinary
questions, the admissibility of a Short Notice question is judged on two additional
criteria; its subject matter must be urgent, and the Minister concerned should agree
to answer it. Therefore, even if the Minister concerned agrees to answer a Short
Notice Question, but the Speaker is of opinion that the question is not of an urgent
nature, the question cannot be admitted as a ‘Short Notice Question’.
7. The inability of a member to give normal notice due to the remainder of a session
being less than 10 days cannot be a valid reason for tabling a Short Notice Question.
Similarly, if notice of Short Notice Question is given before the commencement of
a session so much in advance that it may be for a day not before the expiry of 10
days, such a question is treated as an ordinary question.
8. Where necessary, the Minister concerned may be requested to furnish facts to
enable the Speaker to decide about the admissibility of the Short Notice Question.
9. When the Speaker is satisfied that the subject matter of the Short Notice Question
is urgent, an enquiry is made from the Minister concerned if he/she is in a position
to answer it. If the Minister agrees, a date convenient to him/her as well as to
the member is fixed for answer. An entry is made in the List of Business for the
date agreed to by the Minister and Member concerned. The text of the admitted Short
Notice Question is printed in a separate List on light pink paper in order to distinguish
from lists of Starred and Unstarred Questions. It is circulated to members not more
than two days before the date for its answer.
10. When two or more members give Short Notice Question on the same subject and
one of them is admitted, names of not more than four members are clubbed to it.
A ballot is held to select the members whose names are to be clubbed in case the
number exceeds four.
11. In case a member has any objection to his/her name being added to another
member’s question or to the contents and form of question he/she should inform
the Secretary-General immediately on receipt of the printed list so that necessary
action including issue of corrigendum, etc. may be taken in time.
12. In case the Minister does not agree to answer Short Notice Question and the
Speaker holds that its subject matter is of sufficient public importance to be answered
orally in the House, he may direct that the question be placed as the first question
on the list of Starred Questions for the day on which it would be due for answer
in normal course.
13. When a Short Notice Question of a member is admitted by the Speaker as Starred
Question to be placed as the first question in the list of Starred Questions, his/her
other Starred Question, if already included in the list, will be deleted.
Answering of Short Notice Question
14. Normally one Short Notice Question is put down for answer on any one day.
After the Question Hour, or if there is no Question Hour as soon as the sitting
of Lok Sabha commences and formal business on the agenda, if any is over, the Speaker
calls the member to ask his SNQ and Minister to answer. If the first member is absent,
the Speaker calls the member next in the list and if none of the members whose names
appear for SNQ is present, and no member has been authorised in his behalf, the
Speaker directs the answer to be laid on the Table. However, if the Minister wants
to answer SNQ on the ground that it is of public importance, the Speaker may allow
the Minister to read the question as well as the answer.
15. Copies of answer to Short Notice Question are placed in the Parliamentary
Notice Office as also in the Outer Lobby of the Lok Sabha Chamber for reference
by members half an hour before the commencement of the Question Hour for the day
for which the Short Notice Question has been put down for answer. The contents of
answer should be treated as confidential and not released for publication until
the question is actually asked and answered in the House. The answer should be considered
as provisional when made available in advance and taken as final in the form in
which the Short Notice Question is actually answered with such corrections as may
have been made by the Minister.
16. The member in whose name the Short Notice Question stands (first name) may
ask two supplementaries only and other members may ask one supplementary each only,
if permitted by the Chair.
17. Lok Sabha adjourning without transacting normal business on a particular day,
the Short Notice Question admitted for that day is not postponed, but reply to the
Short Notice Question is deemed to have been laid on the Table of Lok Sabha on the
next sitting and printed in the debates of that day.