Assam Legislative Assembly
CHAPTER-VIII
(a) Questions
Question hour. 30. Unless the Speaker otherwise directs, the first hour of every sitting shall be available for the asking and answering of questions.
Period of notice. 31. Unless the Speaker otherwise directs, not less than ten and not more than twenty one clear days notice of a question shall be given.
Form of Notice. 32. (1) Notice of a question shall be given in writing to the Principal Secretary and shall specify—
  1. (a) the official designation of the Minister to whom the question is addressed; and (b) the date on which the question is proposed to be placed on the list of questions for answer.
(2) Where a notice is signed by more than one member, it shall be deemed to have been given by the first signatory only.
Starred and Unstarred questions. Notice of admitted questions. 33. (1) Questions may be either “Starred” or “Unstarred”.

(2) Unless the Speaker otherwise directs, no question shall be placed on the list of questions for answer until five days have expired from the day when notice of such question was given by the Principal Secretary to the Minister to whom it was addressed.

(3) Separate notices shall be given for “Starred” and “Unstarred” questions:

Provided that questions requiring elaborate statistical information or reports may not be “Starred”.

Starred questions. (4) A member who desires an oral answer to his/her question shall distinguish it by an asterisk. If he/she does not distinguish it by an asterisk the question shall be placed on the list of questions for written answer.
Supplementary questions. 34. (1) No discussion shall be permitted during the time for questions under rule 32 in respect of any question or of any answer given to a question.

(2) Any member when called by the Speaker may ask a supplementary question for the purpose of further elucidating any matter of fact regarding which an answer has been given:
  Provided that the Speaker shall disallow any supplementary question, if, in his/her opinion, it infringes the rules regarding questions.
Limit of Number of questions. 35. (1) Not more than one question distinguished by asterisk by the same member and not more than twenty questions in all shall be placed on the list of questions for oral answer on any one day:

Provided that the Speaker in his/her discretion may allow not more than three questions distinguished by an asterisk by the same member if the exigencies of situation justify:

Provided further that when a question is postponed or transferred from the list of questions for oral answer to another, more than one question may stand in the name of one member and the total number of questions may exceed by such postponed or transferred question.

(2) The order in which questions for oral answer are to be placed shall be indicated by the member giving notice and, if no such order is indicated, the questions shall be placed on the list of questions for oral answer in the order in which notices are received in point of time.

Unstarred questions. (3) If a question is not distinguished by an asterisk, or if a question placed on the list of questions for oral answer on any day is not called for answer within the time available for answering question on that day, a written answer to such question shall be deemed to have been laid on the Table at the end of the Question Hour or as soon as the questions for oral answers have been disposed of as the case may be, by the Minister to whom the question is addressed:

Provided that if a member, on being called by the Speaker, states that it is not his/her intention to ask the question standing in his/her name, the question shall be treated as having been withdrawn and no written answer thereto shall be deemed to have been laid on the Table.

(4) If there is no Question Hour on any day on which the House sits, written answers to questions placed on the list of questions for written answer on that, if any, shall be laid on the Table by a Minister on behalf of all the Ministers to whom such questions are addressed.

(5) Generally, no oral reply shall be required to a question to which a written answer is given and no supplementary questions shall be asked in respect thereof.
Rotational allotment of days for questions. 36. (1) The time available for answering questions shall be allotted on different days in rotation for the answering of questions relating to such Department or Departments as the Speaker may, from time to time, provide, and on each such day, unless the Speaker with the consent of the Minister concerned, otherwise directs, only questions relating to the Department or Departments for which time has been allotted on that day shall be placed on the list of questions for oral answer.
Conditions of admisibility of questions. 37. No question may be asked which does not satisfy the following conditions, namely:
  1. (1) It must not bring in any name or statement not strictly be necessary to make the question intelligible.
  2. (2) If it contains a statement by the member himself/herself the member asking it must make himself/herself responsible for the accuracy of the statement.
  3. (3) It must not contain arguments, inferences, ironical or offensive expression, imputation, epithets or defamatory statements.
  4. (4) It must not ask for an expression of opinion or the solution of a hypothetical proposition.
  5. (5) It must not refer to the character or conduct of any person except in his/her official or public capacity.
  6. (6) It must not be of excessive length.
  7. (7) It shall not repeat in the same session in substance questions already answered or to which an answer has been refused.
  8. (8) It shall not require information set-forth in easily available documents or in ordinary works of reference.
  9. (9) It shall not ask for information on a matter which is under adjudication by a Court of Law having jurisdiction in any part of India.
  10. (10) It shall not ordinarily ask about matters pending before any statutory tribunal or statutory authority performing any judicial or quasi-judicial functions or any commission or court of enquiry appointed to enquire into, or investigate any matter but may refer to matter concerned with Procedure or Subject or stage of enquiry if it is not likely to prejudice the consideration of the matter by theTribunal or Commission or Court of enquiry.
  11. (11) It shall not reflect on the character or conduct of any person whose conduct can only be challenged on a substantive motion.
  12. (12) It shall not make or imply a charge on personal character.
  13. (13) It shall not ask for information on trivial, vague and meaningless matters.
  14. (14) It shall not ask for information on matters of past history.
  15. (15) It shall not relate to a matter with which a Minister is not officially connected.
  16. (16) It shall not relate to day-to-day administration of local bodies or other semi-autonomous bodies. The Speaker may, however, allow questions which arise out of their relation with the Government or refer to breaches of law or rules or relate to important matters involving general welfare.
  17. (17) It shall not refer to debates in the current session.
  18. (18) It shall not criticise decisions of the House of the State legislature.
  19. (19) It shall not seek information about matters, which in their nature are secret, such as, decisions or proceedings of the Cabinets, advice given to the Governor by law officers and other subjects, the disclosure of which is against public interest.
  20. (20) It shall not deal with matters before a Committee appointed by the House or with matters within the jurisdiction of the Chairman of a Select Committee or the authorities of the House.
  21. (21) It shall not refer discourteously to a friendly foreign country.
  22. (22) It shall not raise questions of policy too large to be dealt within the limits of an answer to a question.
  23. (23) In matters which are or have been the subject of controversy between the Union Government and the State Government, no question shall be asked except as to matters of fact, and the answer shall be confined to statement of facts.
Speaker to decide admissibility. 38. (1) The Speaker shall decide whether a question, or a part thereof, is or is not admissible under these rules and may disallow any question which, or a part thereof, when in his/her opinion, it is an abuse of the right of questioning or is calculated to obstruct or prejudicially effect the procedure of the House or is in contravention of these rules.

(2) Subject to the provisions of rule 34(3), the Speaker may direct that a question be placed on the list of questions for answer on a date later than that specified by a member in his/her notice, if he/she is of the opinion that a longer period is necessary to decide whether the question is or is not admissible.
Speaker to decide if a question is to be treated as Starred or Unstarred. 39. If in the opinion of the Speaker any question put down for oral answer is of such a nature that written reply would be more appropriate, the Speaker may direct that such question be placed on the list of questions for written answer:

Provided that the Speaker may, if he/she thinks fit, call upon the member who has given notice of a question for oral answer to state in brief his/her reasons for desiring an oral answer and, after considering the same, may direct that the question be included in the list of questions for written answer.

40. The Speaker may within the period of notice disallow any question or any part of the question on the ground that it relates to a matter which is not primarily the concern of the Government of the State and if he/she does so, the question or part of the question shall not be placed on the list of questions.
List of questions. 41. (1) Questions which have not been disallowed, shall be entered in the list of questions for the day for oral or written answer, as the case may be, in accordance with the orders of the Speaker.
Order in which Starred question to be called. (2) Questions for oral answers shall be called if the time made available for questions permits, in the order in which they stand on, the list before any other business is entered upon at the sitting:

Provided that a question not reached for oral answer may be answered after the end of the Question Hour with the permission of the Speaker if the Minister represents to the Speaker that the question is one of special public interest to which he/she desires to give a reply.
Questions to private members. 42. A question may be addressed by a member to a private member provided the subject matter of the question relates to some Bills, resolutions or other matter connected with business of the House for which that member is responsible and the procedure in regard to such question shall, as far as may be, be the same as that followed in the case of questions addressed to a Minister with such variations as the Speaker may consider necessary or convenient.
Mode of asking questions. 43. (1) Questions shall be put and answers given in such manner as the Speaker may, in his/her discretion determine.

(2) When the time for asking questions arrives, the Speaker shall call successively each member in whose name a question appears on the list of question.

(3) The member so called shall rise in his/her place and unless he/she states that it is not his/her intention to ask the question standing in his/her name, ask the question by reference to its number on the list of questions.

(4) If on a question being called it is not asked or the member in whose name it stands is absent, the Speaker may, at the request of any member, direct that the answer to it be given.

* (5) The replies to oral questions shall be laid in the table of each member in the House an hour before the commencement of the sitting of the House each day: Provided that the Minister in whose name the replies to the oral questions stand shall not read the answers but reply to the supplementaries for elucidating matter of fact regarding which an answer is given:

Provided further, that the Speaker may in his/her discretion regulate the asking of supplementary questions and replies by Minister thereto.
Starred questions of an absent member. 44. When all the questions for which oral answers are desired have been called, the Speaker may, if time permits, call again any question which has not been asked by reason of the absence of the member in whose name it stands, and may also permit a member to ask a question standing in the name of another member, if authorised by him.
Answer to questions not put 45. The Speaker at the request of a member may direct a Minister that an answer to a question which has been called may be given on the ground of public interest even though the question notice put or the member in whose name it stands is absent.
Withdrawal or postponement of question. 46. A member may, by notice given at any time before the sitting for which his/her question has been placed on the list, withdraw his/her question or postpone it to a later day the question shall, subject to the provisions of Rule 38, be placed on the list after all questions which have not been so postponed:

Provided that a postponed question shall not be placed on the list until two clear days have expired from the day when the notice of postponement has been received by the Principal Secretary.
Unanswered starred question on last day of session. 47. Replies to any starred questions which remain unanswered on the last day of the session, shall be circulated to the members, and such replies shall form part of the proceedings of the last day.
Lapse of pending questions refered to members. 47 A. Where a reference is made to a member in connection with the notice of a question and no reply is received or a reply received from him/her is too late for the consideration of the Speaker and the placing of the question, if admitted, on the list of questions for an appropriate date, such notice shall be deemed to have lapsed.
Prohibition of advance publicity of answer 47 B. Answers to questions which Ministers propose to give in the House shall hot be released for publication until the answers have actually been given on the floor of the House or laid on the Table.
(b) Short Notice Questions
Short notice questions 48 (1). A question relating to a matter of public importance may be asked with notice not shorter than ten clear days from the last day of the sitting of the Assembly session and if the Speaker is of opinion that the question is on an urgent character he/she may, in consultation with the Ministers concern, fix a day for the reply to such a question.

(2) Such question will be, called immediately after the starred questions listed for the day have been disposed of, and if the question hour has either been dispensed with or has not been provided for, it may be called for answer as the first item of business, and if there is any new member to take oath or affirmation then immediately thereafter.

(3) If the Minister is unable to answer the question at short notice and the Speaker is of opinion that the question is of sufficient public importance to be orally answered in the House, he/she may direct that the question be treated as a Starred Question and be given priority and answer accordingly.

(4) Where two or more members give short notice question on the same subject and one of the questions is accepted for answer at short notice, the names of the other members shall be bracketed with the name of the members whose questions have been accepted for answer:
Provided that the Speaker may direct that all notices be consolidated into a single notice, if in his/her opinion it is desirable to have a single self contained question covering all the important points raised by members and the Minister shall then give his/her reply to the consolidated question:
Provided further that in the case a consolidated question the names of all the members concerned may be bracketed and shown against the question in the order of priority of their notice.

(5) Where a member desires an oral answer to question at a shorter notice, he/she shall briefly state the reasons for asking the question with short notice, where no reasons have been assigned in the notice of the question, the question shall be returned to the member.

(6) The member who has been given notice of the question shall be in his/her seat to read the question when called by the Speaker and the Minister concerned shall give reply immediately:

Provided that when a question is shown in the names of more than one member the Speaker shall call the name of the first member, or in his/her absence, any other name.

(7) In other respects, the procedure for short notice questions shall be the same as for ordinary questions for oral answer, with such modifications as the Speaker may consider necessary or convenient.