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Virtual Parliament sessions impractical: Trinamool Congress bats for online meetings of panels

MP Derek O'Brien said that according to the rules of Parliament, the decision of the presiding officers is final when it comes to deciding on the procedure for the functioning of these committees.

Published: 22nd July 2020 07:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd July 2020 07:30 PM   |  A+A-

TMC MP Derek O'Brien

TMC MP Derek O'Brien (File Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: TMC MP Derek O'Brien wrote to the Lok Sabha speaker and the Rajya Sabha chairman on Wednesday, stating that a virtual Parliament session is "impractical", but pushed for online meetings of parliamentary panels.

In a letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, O'Brien said the Trinamool Congress (TMC) does not subscribe to the idea of conducting a Parliament session virtually. "We have thoroughly examined the issue and feel that a one hundred per cent virtual session of Parliament would be impractical. However, we would humbly urge your good offices to conduct virtual meetings of parliamentary committees, including the department-related standing committees, consultative committees and select committees," he said.

O'Brien said that according to the rules of Parliament, the decision of the presiding officers is final when it comes to deciding on the procedure for the functioning of these committees. The Rajya Sabha MP also pointed out that on matters that are not apparent through the rules, the Rajya Sabha chairman and the Lok Sabha speaker may refer to rule 266 and rule 389 respectively.

He said holding of such virtual meetings is not without precedent, while pointing out that the Joint Committee on Salary and Allowances summoned two virtual meetings on April 6, which was attended by 12 MPs.

"If a parliamentary committee set up by a particular law can meet virtually, then all parliamentary committees should be allowed to meet virtually to do legislative work. "I request you to take into consideration the invaluable opportunity virtual meetings can provide and exercise your discretion to allow digital functioning of the parliamentary committees," the TMC leader said.

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