Zero Hour does not exist : Dy Chairman says during Zero Hour

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New Delhi, Nov 29 (UNI) ''Zero Hour has no meaning...It is no longer in the Rule Book...It is taken up only for satisfaction of members,'' Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan said while presiding over arguments--ironically during Zero Hour.

The House was debating the issue of the plight of ethnic Indians in Malaysia when Ms Jaya Bachchan (SP) got up and asked why did the government respond only when a serious matter was highlighted either in the media of by members of Parliament.

She wanted the government to take suo motu notice of such matters and issue statements without the members asking for it.

However, the Deputy Chairman said the government could not give statements on issues raised during the Zero Hour. The government could only respond to matters raised during Special Mentions.

''Zero Hour has no meaning. It is only for the satisfaction of members. It is not in the Rule Book. What is not in the Rule Book, the government is not bound to take it up. But a convention has been built up,'' the Deputy Chairman said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri, while responding to the argument on the plight of ethnic Indians in Malaysia, said that in such matters normally the government gave a suo motu statement.

Even the official spokesman sometimes comment on such matters.

However, the government had no objection on having a discussion in the House on the issue, he added.


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