Generally, the first hour of a sitting of Lok Sabha is devoted to the Questions
and this hour is called the Question Hour. It has a special significance in the
proceedings of the Parliament. Asking of questions is an inherent and unfettered
parliamentary right of members. It is during the Question Hour that the members
can ask questions on every aspect of administration and Governmental activity. Government
policies in national as well as international spheres come into sharp focus as the
members try to elicit pertinent information during the Question Hour.
The Government is, as it were, put on its trial during the Question Hour and every
Minister whose turn it is to answer questions has to stand up and answer for his
or his administration's acts of omission and commission. Through the Question Hour
the Government is able to quickly feel the pulse of the nation and adapt its policies
and actions accordingly. It is through questions in the Parliament that the Government
remains in touch with the people in as much as members are enabled thereby to ventilate
the grievances of the public in matters concerning the administration. Questions
enable Ministries to gauge the popular reaction to their policy and administration.
Questions bring to the notice of the Ministers many loopholes which otherwise would
have gone unnoticed. Sometimes questions may lead to the appointment of a Commission,
a Court of Enquiry or even Legislation when matters raised by Members are grave
enough to agitate the public mind and are of wide public importance.
The Question Hour is an interesting part of the Parliamentary proceedings. Although
a question mainly seeks information and tries to elicit facts on a particular subject,
there are many a time lively and quicksilver repartees between the Members asking
the questions and the Ministers answering them. These repartees are sometimes coupled
with flashes of wit and humour. That is why the public galleries and the press galleries
are packed to the capacity during the Question Hour.