LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly is likely all set to become the first in the country to replace the archaic Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the UP Legislative Assembly, 1958, with a new rule book which is likely to come into effect next year.
The UP Vidhan Sabha has decided that it would be prudent to bring in a new rule book instead of making amendments to the existing one as it would be a tedious process.
Known for doing away with obsolete traditions and introducing new initiatives, UP Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana is of the view that new rules are the need of the hour to run the Vidhan Sabha.
He has formed a 10-member drafting committee to lay out a new draft of rules and procedures. The drafting committee, headed by principal secretary, Vidhan Sabha, Pradeep Dubey, includes retired officer from the law department, SN Srivastava, and retired special secretary, finance department, Shankeshwar Tripathi, as members.
“The committee is likely to submit the draft for new rules to the Speaker in January. The Speaker will then put it before the 13-member Rules Committee of the UP Vidhan Sabha,” said principal secretary, Vidhan Sabha, Pradeep Dubey. Mahana himself couldn’t be contacted as he is out leading a delegation to various countries to conduct roadshows in the run up to the Global Investors Summit.
The Rules Committee is chaired by the Speaker himself and has MLAs from various political parties.
“Once approved by the Rules Committee, the draft would be tabled before the House for approval,” Dubey said.
“The need for replacing the 64-year-old Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the UP Legislative Assembly was felt after new technology was introduced in the Vidhan Sabha. It became more important after e-vidhan was introduced in the legislature,” the principal secretary said.
Sources privy to the process of drafting of new rules said that earlier there was a provision that the House would be convened on a notice period of not less than 14 days. However, in the era of technological advancements, dissemination of any information is just one click away. Hence, the notice period to convene the House would be around seven days.
The language of the rules would be simplified as it has been felt that legislators, especially the first-timers, find it difficult to understand the rules. Similarly, several other rules and procedures would not only be simplified but also clarified.
Citing an example, sources said there was confusion on Rule 311. Most of the members believe that under this rule, any issue can be taken up. However, the fact is that under the rule only some specific issues can be taken up under special provisions.
Similarly, there are more than 15 categories which clarify why questions cannot be asked. This would be included in a single category and written in simple language, sources said, adding that under Rule 56, several members give notices even on the same day till morning, which will also be changed.
Currently, there is a provision of two meetings in a month for the committees of public interest of Vidhan Sabha. The Speaker wants the number of meetings to be increased from two to maybe 5-7 in a month, sources said.
“With such changes, allowances for the committee meetings would also be increased. It is for this reason that experts from the finance department have also been included in the draft committee,” Dubey said.
A proposal is also likely to be made to allow members of the House to list questions 15 days after the Speaker adjourns the House instead of the present procedure to list questions after the Cabinet adjourns the House sine die.
If everything goes as per plan, the new rules and procedures may come into force in the next Budget Session.

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