Point of Order

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A member may raise a point of order when the House’s proceedings do not adhere to the established procedures. A point of order must raise a concern that is within the Speaker’s knowledge and must deal with the interpretation or application of the House Rules of Procedure or those provisions of the Constitution that control the conduct of the House. It is typically brought up by a member of the opposition in an effort to seize power.

In parliamentary proceedings, what is a point of order?

  1. A point of order must raise a concern that is within the Speaker’s knowledge and must deal with the application or interpretation of the House Rules or relevant Constitutional provisions that control House operations.
  2. To the topic before the House, any member of the Indian Parliament, including the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, may raise a point of order.
  3. No discussion on a point of order is allowed; however, the Chair may consult with members before making a decision. The Chair’s decision is final.
  4. The member on the floor shall yield and take his seat upon the raising of a point of order.
  5. A member should not raise a point of order to:
    • request information;
    • explain his position;
    • when a question on any motion is being put to the House;
    • which may be speculative.
  6. A point of order is “meant to assist the Speaker in enforcing the rules, instructions, and provisions of the Constitution for governing House action.
  7. As a result, it may include both the application of House rules and any fundamental constitutional principles.

Point of Order Procedure

The following procedure should be followed when bringing up points of order:

  • When a member wants to bring something up, they should stand up and say, “Point of order.”
    • He should wait until the Chair has identified the member before moving forward with the formulation.
    • He should wait until he has been identified before making his point of order.
  • A member shall specify the exact rule or clause of the Constitution pertaining to House procedure that has been disregarded, neglected, or broken while crafting his point of order.
  • No member may stand or speak when the Speaker is standing, whether they are sitting or standing.
    • Any member who wishes to speak should do so only after the Speaker has sat down and called on them. The Speaker should be heard in silence.
  • A point of order should not be raised about issues when the Speaker is powerless to intervene.
    • A member should approach a Minister in the House with the Speaker’s permission if he wants to clarify something or object to what the Minister has said; he should not do so while posing as a point of order.


Key Aspects of “Point of Order” in Parliamentary Procedure

  1. Definition: A “Point of Order” is a parliamentary procedure that a member of a legislative body can employ to voice an objection or contest the proceedings if they consider there has been a violation of the rules of order or parliamentary procedure. It serves as a check to see if the meeting’s guidelines are being followed.
  2. Preservation of Order: The main goal of a Point of Order is to keep legislative proceedings fair and in order. It enables members to monitor compliance with the specified policies and processes, fostering a structured and democratic atmosphere.
  3. When to raise a point of order: A member must do so as soon as the alleged rule violation takes place or becomes evident to them. It cannot be brought up later or in a different session.
  4. Acknowledgment by the Presiding Officer: In the majority of parliamentary systems, the member raising a Point of Order must ask the presiding officer—usually the speaker or chairperson—for acknowledgment before voicing their objection. The presiding officer will then determine if the objection is legitimate and deserves to be addressed.
  5. Subject to the Chair’s Decision: Unless the members object, the presiding officer’s decision on a Point of Order is conclusive. The legislative body normally votes to uphold or reverse the judgment if it is contested.
  6. Scope of Objection: A point of order can be raised in relation to a number of aspects of parliamentary proceedings, such as violations of debate rules, overstaying allotted speaking time, bad conduct, or any deviation from accepted parliamentary practices.
  7. Debate Interruption: When a Point of Order is made, it takes precedence over any discussion or debate that is now taking place. Before starting the debate, the presiding officer addresses the Point of Order and the legislative body determines whether the objection is legitimate.
  8. Non-Debatable: A Point of Order is not subject to debate in the majority of parliamentary systems. This implies that when a Point of Order is raised, members are not permitted to dispute or converse. Only if the regulations have been broken is the main concern.
  9. Protection of Minority Rights: By using points of order, dissenting or minority members can make sure that their rights and the rules-of-order are upheld. It can stop the majority from unnecessarily stifling the voices of minorities.
  10. Transparency and Accountability: The use of Points of Order in legislative processes promotes transparency and accountability. It enables members to object to actions that they think are against accepted procedures, making sure that the legislative body follows its own rules.
  11. Balancing Act: Points of Order are crucial for upholding fairness and order, but they shouldn’t be exploited to obstruct proceedings for tactical or political reasons. The proper use of Points of Order is crucially dependent on the presiding authorities.
  12. Appeals: Members may request a review by the entire body of the presiding officer’s decision on a Point of Order if they disagree with it. The appeals process serves as yet another example of how crucial the Point of Order is to proper parliamentary procedure.

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