The first hour of the day, when the Parliament is in session, is allotted for asking and answering questions. It is known as the “Question Hour”.
During this hour, the members of the Parliament put questions to Ministers in order to obtain information pertaining to their respective Ministries. Members wishing to ask questions must give twenty-one days notice.
The concerned Minister is obliged to answer to the Parliament, either orally or in writing, depending on the type of question raised. Questions are one of the ways Parliament can hold the Executive accountable.
Also read: Role of Opposition Parties in Democracy
Types of Questions
- Starred Questions are those for which an oral answer is expected. The member is allowed to ask a supplementary question, with the permission of the Speaker, after the reply is obtained from the Minister concerned.
- Non-starred Questions are those for which a written reply is expected. After the reply has been provided, no supplementary question can be asked.
- Short Notice Questions are raised on a matter of public importance and of urgent character for an oral answer at a notice less than 10 days prescribed as the minimum period of notice for asking a question in the ordinary course.
- Questions to Private Members are addressed to a Private Member, provided that the subject matter of the question relates to some Bill, Resolution or other matter connected with the business of the House for which that Member is responsible. The procedure in regard to such questions is same as that followed in the case of questions addressed to a Minister with such variations as the Speaker may consider necessary. Such questions are raised under Rule 40 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.
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