Context: Facing the heat for his recent critical remarks on the state of Indian democracy, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has once again approached Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, seeking permission to respond to “totally baseless and unfair charges” made against him by senior Ministers in the Lok Sabha.
What is Rule 357:
In the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, under the section ‘Rules to be observed by the members’, there is rule 357 for ‘personal explanation’. It states, “A member may, with the permission of the Speaker, make a personal explanation although there is no question before the House, but in this case no debatable matter may be brought forward, and no debate shall arise.”
In his request to the Lok Sabha Speaker, Rahul referred to the instance when former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in 2015, invoked rule 357 to respond to comments on him in Parliament by then-Congress leader and now Minister of Civil Aviation in the BJP-led Central government, Jyotiraditya Scindia. Scindia had accused Prasad of demanding a parliamentary debate on the terms ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ mentioned in the preamble to the Constitution.
Source: Indian Express
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