Chapter XVIII - GENERAL RULES OF PROCEDURE

Notice by Member.

178.  Save as otherwise provided in these rules, every notice required by the rules shall be given in writing and addressed to the Secretary and shall be delivered at the Assembly Secretariat. If it is delivered during the office hours, it shall be treated as delivered on that day. If it is delivered at any later time or any holiday, it shall be treated as delivered on the day on which the Secretariat next opens.

Circulation of Notice to Members.

179. (1) The Secretary shall circulate to each Member and any other person entitled to take part in the proceedings of the Assembly under the Constitution, a copy of the notice or other paper required under these rules to be made available to such Member and other person.

        (2) A notice or other paper shall be deemed to have been thus made available-

(a)   If it is delivered by hand at the local address given by the Member when the Assembly is in session, and for two days before the commencement of the session, unless otherwise requested by the Member, or if it is placed in the seat allotted to the Member in the Assembly Chamber when the Assembly is sitting; and

(b)   If it is sent by post to the Member’s permanent address as registered in the Assembly Secretariat at other times.

 

(B)  MOTIONS.

Decision by motions.

180.  A matter requiring the decision of the Assembly shall be brought forward by means of a question put by the Speaker on a motion moved by a Member.

Notice of motion or amendment.

181. Save as otherwise provided in these rules, a Member who wishes to move a motion shall give, in the case of a substantive motion, at least seven clear days’ and in the case of an amendment at-least two clear days’ notice in writing, of his intention, to the Secretary:

          Provided that the Speaker may allow a motion or amendment to be moved at a shorter notice.

EXPLANATION.- A substantive motion is a self-contained proposal submitted for the approval of the Assembly and drafted in such a way as to be capable of expressing a decision of the Assembly.

Who may move motion.

182. (1) Except as otherwise provided in these rules, a motion or amendment which requires notice may be moved only by the Member giving notice.

          (2) If a motion or amendment is not moved, it shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.

Motion to be moved as appearing on the notice paper.

183.   A motion or amendment may not be moved in a form different from that in which it appears on the notice paper, unless the Speaker permits it to be moved in an altered form.

Repetition of motion.

184. (1) Except as otherwise provided by these rules, a motion shall not raise a question substantially identical with one on which the Assembly has given a decision in the same session.

          (2) This rule shall not be deemed to prevent the making of any of the following motions, namely: -

(a)   a motion for the taking into consideration, or the reference to a Select Committee of a Bill, where an amendment has been carried to a previous motion of the same kind to the fact that the Bill be circulated or re-circulated for the purpose of eliciting public opinion thereon; or

(b)   a motion for the amendment of a Bill which has been recommitted to a Select Committee or re-circulated for the purpose of eliciting public opinion thereon; or

(c)   a motion for the amendment of a Bill which is consequential or is designed merely to alter the drafting of another amendment which has been carried; or

(d)   a motion which has to be or may be made within a period determined by or under these rules.

Anticipation of a matter before the Assembly.

185. A motion or amendment must not anticipate a matter already appointed for consideration of the Assembly, and in determining whether a motion is out of order on the ground of anticipation, the Speaker shall have regard to the probability of the matter anticipated being brought before the Assembly within a reasonable time.

Proposal of question.

 

186.  When a motion has been moved, the Speaker may propose the question for the consideration of the Assembly, and if a motion embodies two or more separate propositions, each of those propositions may be proposed as a separate question.

Withdrawal of motion.

187.  At any time after the question on a motion has been proposed and before the voting has taken place, the motion may, with the leave of the Assembly, be withdrawn by the Member who moved it:

          Provided that-

(a)   if an amendment has been proposed to the question, the original motion cannot be withdrawn until the amendment has been disposed of; and

(b)   no discussion shall be permitted on a request for leave to withdraw a motion except with the consent of the Speaker.

 

(C) AMENDMENTS.

Rules as to amendments.

188.   (1) An amendment shall be within the scope of and relevant to the subject matter of the motion to which it is proposed.

          (2) An amendment shall not raise a question which, by these rules, can only be raised by a substantive motion after notice.

          (3) An amendment shall not be moved which has merely the effect of a negative vote.

          (4) An amendment on question shall not be inconsistent with the previous decision on the same question at the same stage of a Bill or matter.

          (5) An amendment may be moved to an amendment which has been moved in the Assembly.

          (6) If any amendments are made in a Bill, the re-numbering or re-lettering of the clauses, sub-clauses and all references therein, consequential amendments, the numbering or lettering of clauses and sub-clauses as required by such re-numbering, re-lettering or amendments and any clerical errors may be rectified by the Secretary under the orders of the Speaker.

          (7) In respect of any motion, or in respect of any Bill under consideration in the Assembly, the Speaker shall have the power to select one or several identical or substantially identical amendments to be proposed.

Putting of amendments.

189.  The Speaker may put amendments in such order as he may think fit:

          Provided that the Speaker may refuse to put an amendment which, in his opinion, is frivolous, inconsistent or meaningless.

 

           (D) DEBATE.

Mode of Address.

190.  (1) A Member desiring to speak on any matter before the Assembly or to raise a point of order or privilege shall rise in his seat, or if unable to do so, shall otherwise intimate his desire to the Speaker and shall speak only when called upon to do so by the Speaker and shall address the House standing, except when permitted otherwise. If at any time, the Speaker speaks or rises, the Member shall resume his seat.

          (2) No Member shall leave his seat while the Speaker is addressing the Assembly.

Rules against reading.

191. Except with the permission of the Speaker a Member may not read his speech but may refresh his memory by reference to his notes.

 

 

Limitation of debates.

192. (1) The subject matter of every speech shall be relevant to the matter before the Assembly.

          (2)  A Member while speaking shall not-

(a)   discuss any matter which is sub-judice in a Court of    Law in any part of Pakistan;

(b)   reflect upon the President or the Governor in his personal capacity:

        Provided that nothing in the sub-rule shall preclude any reference, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, to the President or the Governor in relation to any act done in his official capacity;

(c)   make a personal charge against a Member, Minister or the holder of a public office except in so far as it may be relevant in regard to the matter before the Assembly;

(d)   utter unreasonable or defamatory or un-parliamentary words, or make use of offensive expressions; and

(e)   use his right of speech for the purpose of willfully and persistently obstructing the business of the Assembly.

          (3) No discussion shall take place with respect to the conduct of any Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court in the discharge of his duties.

Irrelevance or repetition. 

193.  The Speaker, after having called the attention of the Member who persists in irrelevance or in tedious repetition either of his own arguments or of the arguments used by other Members in debate, may direct him to discontinue his speech.

Order of speech. and right of reply.

 

194. (1) After the Member who makes a motion has spoken, other Members may speak on the motion in the order in which the Speaker may call upon them. If any Member, who is called upon does not speak, he shall not be entitled, except with the permission of the Speaker, to speak on the motion at any later stage of the debate.        

          (2) Except in the exercise of a right of reply or as otherwise provided by these rules, a Member shall not speak more than once on any motion, except with the permission of the Speaker, for the purpose of making a personal explanation.

         (3) A Member who has made a motion may speak by way of reply, and if the motion has been made by a private Member, the Minister ¹[or Parliamentary Secretary] concerned may speak after the mover has replied.

         (4) Sub-rule (3) shall not be deemed to give any right of reply to the mover of a cut motion or to the mover of an amendment to a Bill, resolution or motion, save with the permission of Speaker.

 

(E) QUORUM, CLOSURE AND VOTING.

Want of Quorum.

195.  If at any time during a sitting of the Assembly the attention of the Speaker/presiding officer is drawn by a member to the fact that less than one-fourth of the total membership of the Assembly is present, he shall either adjourn the Assembly or suspend the meeting until at least one-fourth of such membership is present.

Closure.

196.  (1) At any time after a question has been proposed, a Member may move “that the question be now put” and unless it appears to the Chair that such motion is an abuse of the rules or an infringement of the right of reasonable debate, the Speaker shall put the motion “that the question be now put”.

          (2) When the motion “That the question be now put” has been carried, the question or questions consequent thereon shall be put forthwith without amendment or debate:

 Provided that the Speaker may allow any Member a right of reply which he may have under these rules.

          (3) A motion “That the question be now put” may, subject to the restrictions contained in the above provisions, be also moved in respect of a clause or amendment to a clause of Bill under consideration of the Assembly.

Voting.

197. (1) Save as otherwise provided, the votes of Members on any question put by the Speaker, may be taken by voices in the first instance. On the conclusion of a debate,

1. Inserted vide notification No. Legis: I (15)/85 dated 15h August, 1985.

2.Rule 195 substituted vide Notification No.PAB/Legis:I(3) /2013, dated 5th April, 2018.

the Speaker shall put the question and invite those who are in favor of the motion to say “Aye” and those against the motion to say “No”.

          (2) The Speaker shall then say: “I think Ayes (or the Noes, as the case may be) have it”. If the opinion of the Speaker as to the decision of a question is not challenged, he shall say twice: “The Ayes (or the Noes, as the case may be) have it” and the question before the Assembly shall be determined accordingly.

          (3)    (a) If the opinion of the Speaker as to the decision of a question is challenged, he shall order that the Lobby be cleared;

(b) After the lapse of two minutes he shall put the question a second time declare whether in his opinion the “Ayes” or the “Noes” have it; and

(c) If the opinion so declared is again challenged, he shall direct that the votes be recorded by Division in the manner set out in Schedule IV:

         Provided that, if in the opinion of the Speaker, the Division is un-necessarily claimed, he may ask the Members who are for “Aye” and those for “No” respectively to rise in their places and, on a count being taken, he may declare the determination of the Assembly. In such a case, the names of the voters shall not be recorded.

          (4) The result of a Voting by a Division shall be announced by the Speaker and shall not be challenged.

          (5)  A Member, who is unable to go to the Division Lobby owing to illness may, with the permission of the Speaker, have his vote recorded either in his seat in the Assembly Chamber or in the Lobby.

          (6) A Member may not vote on any question in which he has a pecuniary interest. If he votes on such a question, the vote shall on a substantive motion carried by the Assembly, be disallowed.

EXPLANATION.- The interest contemplated in this rule shall be direct and personal and not remote or general.

No Speech after question is put.

198.  A Member shall not speak on a question after the Speaker has put the question to the Assembly.

Casting Vote. 

199.  The Speaker shall not vote except in the event of an equality of votes.

Validity of proceedings etc.

200. (1) The validity of the proceedings in the Assembly shall not be called in question in any court or tribunal.

          (2) The Assembly shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in the Membership thereof and no proceedings in the Assembly shall be invalid by reason only that a person who was disqualified for being or continuing as Member, or person who was otherwise not entitled to do so, was present at or voted or otherwise took part in the proceeding.

 

(F) POINTS OF ORDER.

Decision on points of order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allocation of time for points of public importance.

 

 

 

 

Restriction on debate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decision and Ruling of the Speaker.

201.   (1) A Point of order shall relate to the interpretation or enforcement of these rules or such Articles of the Constitution as regulate the business of the Assembly and shall raise a question which is within the cognizance of the Speaker.

          (2) A Point of order may be raised in relation to the business before the Assembly at the moment:

          Provided that the Speaker may permit a Member to raise a point of order during the interval between the termination of one item of business and the commencement of another if it relates to maintenance of order in, or arrangement of business before the Assembly.

          (3) A Point of order may not be raised before the Speaker has disposed of the earlier point of order.

          (4) Subject to conditions referred to in sub-rules (1), (2) and (3) a Member may formulate a point of order and the Speaker shall decide whether the point raised is a point of order and, if so, give his decision thereon, which shall be final.

          (5) No debate shall be allowed on point of order, but the Speaker may, if he thinks fit hear Members before giving his decision.

          (6) A point of order is not a point of privilege.

          (7) A Member shall not raise a point of order-

(a)       to ask for information; or

(b)       to explain his position; or

(c)        when a question of any motion is being put to the Assembly; or

(d)       which may be hypothetical; or

(e)        that Division Bells did not ring or were not heard.

          (8)  There shall be no discussion on a decision of a point of order.

(F-I) POINT OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE.

201-A. (1) The Speaker shall, after the disposal of Business on the Orders of the Day, allocate time for raising points of public importance by the Members.

            (2) A point of public importance may not be raised before the Speaker has disposed of the earlier point of public importance.

            (3) The Minister concerned may respond to a point of public importance raised by the Member at the sitting. In case the Minister concerned is not available, then the Speaker may decide to allow raising of such point on another day fixed for the purpose.

201-B. (1) The time for asking points of public importance shall be fifteen minutes.

            (2) Only one point of public importance shall be raised in a sitting.

            (3) The member raising the point of public importance shall not have a right of reply and no other member except the member raising the point of public importance shall be allowed to speak.

            (4) No debate shall be allowed on point of public importance, but the Speaker may, if he thinks fit hear Members before giving his decision.

Rules 201(A) and (B) inserted vide Notification No.PAB/ Legis: I (3) 2013 dated 17th May, 2017.

 

201-C. (1) Subject to sub-rule (3), if the Speaker gives ruling on any matter on the floor of the House or reserve for future announcement and subsequently decides in his office on a file, the decision of the ruling shall not be called in question and shall be final.

            (2) If the Speaker gives ruling in his office on a file, the Secretary shall circulate the ruling for information of the members and the departments concerned for compliance.

               (3) The Speaker may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, review a decision made or ruling given under sub-rule (1) and (2).

 

(G)    MAINTENANCE OF ORDER.

Speaker to preserve order and enforce decisions.

202.   The Speaker shall preserve order and shall have all powers necessary for the purpose of enforcing his decisions.

Withdrawal of Member.

203.  The Speaker may direct any Member whose conduct is, in his opinion, grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the Assembly, and any Member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall absent himself during the remainder of the day’s sitting.

Suspension of Member.

204.  (1) The Speaker may, if he deems it necessary, name a Member who disregards the authority of the Speaker or abuses these rules by persistently and willfully obstructing the business of the Assembly.

           (2) If a Member is so named by the Speaker, he shall forthwith put the question that the Member (naming him) be suspended from the service of the Assembly for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session:

           Provided that the Assembly may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated.

           (3) A Member suspended under this rule shall forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the Assembly.

 

Rule 201-C added vide Notification No.PAB/Legis: I(3)/2013, dated  5th March, 2018.

 

 

(H)  SUSPENSION OF SITTING.

Power of Speaker to suspend sitting or adjourn the Assembly.

205.  In the case of a grave disorder arising in the Assembly, the Speaker may, if he thinks it necessary to do so, suspend any sitting for a time to be specified by him or adjourn the Assembly.

 

(I)  ADMISSION, WITHDRAWAL AND REMOVAL OF STRANGERS.

Admission of strangers.

206. The admission of strangers during the sittings of the Assembly to those portions of the Assembly which are not reserved for the exclusive use of Members shall be regulated, in accordance with directions given by the Speaker.

Withdrawal of strangers.

207. The Speaker may, whenever he thinks fit, order the galleries to be cleared and any strangers to be removed.

Sergeant-at-Arms.

208. The Speaker may appoint a Sergeant-at-Arms and such other officers as he may consider necessary to assist the Sergeant-at-Arms in carrying out the orders of the Speaker.

Removal of strangers.

209. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall remove from the precincts of the Assembly any stranger whom he may see, or who may be reported to him to be, in any portion of the precincts of the Assembly which is reserved for the exclusive use of Members and also any stranger who, having been admitted into any portion of the precincts of the Assembly, misconducts himself or willfully infringes the directions given by the Speaker under Rule 206 or does not withdraw when the strangers are directed to withdraw under Rule 207.

 

(J ) SECRET SITTING OF THE ASSEMBLY.

Secret sitting.

210.  (1) On a request made by the Leader of the House or any other Minister on his behalf, the Speaker may, in his discretion, fix a day or part thereof for sitting of the Assembly in secret.

          (2) When the Assembly sits in secret, no stranger shall be permitted to be present in the Chamber, lobby, or galleries, except the Secretary and such other officers of the Assembly as the Speaker may direct.

Report of proceedings.

211.  The Speaker may cause a report of the proceedings of a secret sitting to be issued in such manner as he thinks fit but no other person present shall keep a note or record of any proceedings or decisions of a secret sitting, whether in part or full, or issue any report of, or divulge, or purport to describe, such proceedings.

Procedure in other respects.

212. Subject to these rules, the procedure in all other respects in connection with a secret sitting shall be in accordance with such directions as the Speaker may give.

Lifting ban on Secrecy.

213. (1) When it is considered that the necessity for maintaining secrecy in regard to the proceedings of a secret sitting has ceased to exist, a motion may, subject to the consent of the Speaker, be moved by the Leader of the House or any Member authorised by him that the proceedings in the Assembly sitting secret be no longer treated as secret.

         (2) On adoption by the Assembly of a motion under sub-rule (1), the Secretary shall cause to be prepared a report of the proceedings of the secret sitting, and shall as soon as practicable, publish it in such form and manner as the Speaker may direct.

Disclosure of proceeding or decisions.

214. Save as provided in Rule 211, disclosure of the proceedings or decisions of a secret sitting by any person in any manner shall be treated as gross breach of privilege of the Assembly.

 

(K) LANGUAGE, RECORD AND REPORTS.

Language of the Assembly.

215. (1) The Members shall ordinarily address the Assembly in Urdu, but a Member who cannot adequately express himself in Urdu may, with the permission of the Speaker, address the Assembly in English or in his mother tongue.

          (2) If a Member desires that a summary in Urdu of his speech delivered in a language other than Urdu or English be read out to the Assembly, he shall supply a copy of the summary to the Speaker who may, in his discretion, allow it to be read to the Assembly. Such summary shall be included in the record of the proceedings of the Assembly.

          (3) The official records of the proceedings of the Assembly shall be kept in Urdu and where necessary in English.

Report of proceedings.

216.  (1) The Secretary shall cause to be prepared a full report of the proceedings of the Assembly at each of its sitting, and shall, as soon as practicable, publish it in such form and manner as the Speaker may, from time to time, direct.

          (2) The Secretary may also cause to be prepared a journal of the House containing-

(a)   brief record of proceedings of the Assembly at each of its sittings;

(b)   information on any matter relating to or connected with the business of the Assembly or a matter which in the opinion of the Speaker may be included therein; and

(c)   information regarding the Committees.

Custody of documents and records.

 

217.  The Secretary shall have the custody of all records, documents, including the original documents notified in the Gazette, and papers belonging to the Assembly or any of its Committees or the Secretariat of the Assembly, and he shall not permit any such records, documents or papers to be taken out of the Secretariat without the permission, in writing, of the Speaker.

Expunction of words from debates.

     

218.  (1) If the Speaker is of the opinion that words have been used in debate, which are defamatory, indecent, un-parliamentary or un-dignified, he may, at any time, order that such words be expunged from the proceedings of the Assembly.

          (2) The expunged words shall not be printed, published or mentioned by any person including media and if so published, printed or mentioned shall amount to breach of privilege of the House.

          (3) The broadcasting of audio or video proceedings of the House on air or through internet shall be for information only and the printed version of the debates shall be the official and authentic version of the proceedings.

 

Rule 218 substituted vide No.PAB/Legis:I(3)/2013, dated 5th April, 2018.

Indication in printed debates of expunged proceedings.

219.  The portion of the proceedings of the Assembly so expunged shall be marked by asterisks and an explanatory foot-note shall be inserted in the proceedings as follows: -

          “Expunged as ordered by the Speaker”.

 

(L) RULES TO BE OBSERVED BY MEMBERS.

Rules to be observed by Members while present in House. 

220.   Whilst sitting in the House a Member-

(i)      shall not read any book, newspaper or letter except in connection with the business of the House;

(ii)     shall not interrupt any Member while speaking by disorderly expressions or notices or in any other disorderly manner;

(iii)    shall not pass between the Chair and any Member who is speaking;

(iv)    shall not leave the House when the Speaker is addressing the House;

(v)     shall always address the Chair;

(vi)    shall keep to his seat while addressing the House;

(vii)   shall maintain silence when not speaking in the House;

(viii) shall not obstruct proceedings, hiss or interrupt and shall avoid making running commentaries when speeches are being made in the House; and

(ix)    shall not, while speaking, make any reference to the strangers in any of the galleries.

 

 

 

 

(M) LAPSE OF BUSINESS.

Lapse of pending notices on prorogation of session.

221.  (1) On the prorogation of a session all notices other than notices of intention to introduce a Bill, shall lapse and fresh notices shall be given for the next session.

          (2) Bills which have been introduced shall be carried over to the pending Orders of the Day of the next session. If the Member in-Charge makes no motion in regard to the Bill during two consecutive sessions, the Bill shall lapse, unless the Assembly, on a motion by the Member-in-Charge in the next session, makes a special order for the continuance of the Bill.

Effect of dissolution of Assembly.

222. On the dissolution of the Assembly all pending business shall lapse.


 

(N)   MISCELLNEOUS.

Secretary to be ex- officio Secretary of Committees.

223.  The Secretary shall be ex-officio Secretary to every Committee of the Assembly.

Secretary may authorise any officer.

224. The Secretary may authorise any officer of the Assembly Secretariat to perform such duties as he may direct.

Suspension of Rules.

225.  Whenever any inconsistency or difficulty arises in the application of these rules, any Member may, with the consent of the Speaker, move that any rule may be suspended in its application to a particular motion before the Assembly and if the motion is carried the rule in question shall stand suspended.

Residuary powers of the Speaker.

226.  Any matter arising in connection with the business of the Assembly and its Committees for which no specific provision exists in these rules shall be decided by the Speaker and his decision shall be final.

Papers quoted to be laid on the Table.

227.  If a Minister ¹[or Parliamentary Secretary] quotes in the House a dispatch or other state paper which has not been presented to the House, he shall lay the relevant paper on the Table:

1. Inserted vide Notification No. Legis: I (15)/85 dated 15th August, 1985.

          Provided that this rule shall not apply to any document, which is stated by the Minister 1[or Parliamentary Secretary] to be of such a nature that its production would be against the public interest:

           Provided further that where a Minister 2[or Parliamentary Secretary] gives in his own words a summary or gist of such despatch or State paper it shall not be necessary to lay the relevant paper on the Table.

Treatment of paper laid on the Table. 

228.  (1) A paper or document to be laid on the Table shall be duly authenticated by the Member or Minister 3[or Parliamentary Secretary] laying it.

           (2) All papers and documents laid on the Table shall be considered public.

Procedure when a Minister discloses source of advice or opinion given to him.

229.  If, in answer to a question or during debate, a Minister discloses the advice or opinion given to him by any officer of the Government or by any other person or authority he shall ordinarily lay the relevant document or parts of documents containing that opinion or advice or a summary thereof on the Table.

Statements on matters of public importance. 

230.  A statement may be made by a Minister on a matter of public importance with the consent of the Speaker, but no question shall be asked nor discussion take place thereon at the time statement is made.

Use of Assembly Chamber.

231. Except with the permission of the House, the Assembly Chamber shall not be used for any purpose other than the sittings of the Assembly.

Transitional provisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gender and number in the Rules.

232.  If there be no Speaker at the time of the dissolution of the Assembly, or if the Speaker continuing after the dissolution of the Assembly under clause (8) of Article 53 read with Article 127 of the Constitution resigns or dies or is otherwise absent, the Secretary shall take such actions, till the election of the Speaker, as are necessary for the running of the day-to-day affairs of the Assembly, the convening of the first meeting of the Assembly after general election and for the conduct of business of the Assembly.

1,2 & 3 Inserted vide Notification No. Legis: I (15)/85 dated 15th August, 1985.

4. Rule 231 substituted vide Notification No.PAB/Legis:I(3)2013, dated 5th April, 2018.

 232-A. In these Rules-

(a)   words importing the masculine gender shall be taken to include females; and

(b)  words in the singular shall include the plural, and words in the plural shall include the singular.