No Confidence Motion: Meaning, Article, Significance

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No Confidence Motion
No Confidence Motion

A No Confidence motion is a parliamentary procedure in the Lok Sabha. It is not applicable in the Rajya Sabha.

What is a No Confidence Motion in Lok Sabha?

  • A No Confidence motion is a parliamentary procedure in the Lok Sabha. It is not applicable in the Rajya Sabha.
  • This motion is a formal way for members of the Lok Sabha to express their lack of confidence in the Council of Ministers.

What is the Constitutional Status of No Confidence Motion?

The essence of Non Confidence motion lies in the Article 75 in The Constitution Of India.

The Article 75 states that:

(1) The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister

(2) The Minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the President

(3) The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People

(4) Before a Minister enters upon his office, the President shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.

(5) A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of either House of Parliament shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.

(6) The salaries and allowances of Ministers shall be such as Parliament may from time to time by law determine and, until Parliament so determines, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule The Attorney General for India.

In the Above Article the Clause (3) Holds the Key to the Non Confidence Motion

  • The concept of collective responsibility means that all members of the Council of Ministers, collectively, are accountable to the Lok Sabha (House of the People) for their actions and decisions.
  • It implies that they act as a unified body and share responsibility for the government’s policies and actions. If one Minister or the government as a whole is criticised or faces a vote of no confidence, all members of the Council of Ministers are collectively answerable.
  • In case a vote of No Confidence is passed the entire Council of Ministers will have to resign. 

What is the Procedure of No Confidence Motion?

Here’s how a No Confidence motion works in the Lok Sabha:

  • Proposal: Any member of the Lok Sabha can propose a No Confidence motion against the Council of Ministers. To do this, they need to give a written notice to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha stating the reasons for their lack of confidence.
    • Under rules 198(1) and 198(5) of the Lok Sabha, it can be introduced only after the Speaker has called upon it.
    • To introduce a motion of no confidence against the Council of Ministers in the Lok Sabha, a Member of Parliament (MP) needs the backing of at least 50 fellow MPs. This means that any Lok Sabha MP who can gather support from 50 of their colleagues has the right to introduce such a motion at any time.
  • Discussion: Once the motion is admitted, it is usually taken up for discussion after a stipulated period, allowing time for members to prepare and debate the motion.
  • Debate: During the debate, members are given the opportunity to present their arguments for or against the motion. The Prime Minister or a representative from the Council of Ministers also has the opportunity to respond and defend their government’s position.
  • Voting: After the debate, a vote is conducted, and members are asked to vote either in favor of the motion (expressing no confidence) or against it (expressing confidence in the government).
  • Outcome: If the No Confidence motion is passed by a majority of the members present and voting, it indicates that the Lok Sabha has lost confidence in the government. In such a case, the Council of Ministers is expected to resign, and the government may collapse. If the motion is not passed, the government remains in power, and its mandate is reaffirmed.

How Many Times No Confidence Motion Passed in India?

  • The first ever no confidence movement was moved in 1963.
  • Till now a total of 26 no motions have been moved so far.
  • The government of Indira Gandhi faced the maximum number of no confidence motions.

Which are the last No Confidence Motions Moved in the Parliament?

  • 1993: Narsimha Rao Government (Government won the vote)
  • 1999: Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Government lost the vote of no confidence by one vote )
  • 2003: Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Government won the vote of no confidence)
  • 2008: ManMohan Singh Government (Government won the vote)

What are the Features of No Confidence Motion?

  • It need not state the reasons for its adoption in the Lok Sabha.
  • It can be moved against the Council of Ministers only.
  • It is moved for ascertaining the confidence of Lok Sabha in the Council of Ministers.
  • If it is passed in the Lok Sabha, the Council of Ministers must resign from office.

What is the Significance of No Confidence Motion?

  1. Fix the accountability of the Government in power: 
  2. Force the government to discuss important issues which the government is trying to avoid. It is a powerful political tool for the opposition to challenge the government’s authority, highlight issues, and make their grievances public
  3. Encourage political consciousness by encouraging discussions. 
  4. There is a potential for change in the government if the motion is won. It may signify the change in the will of the people, if the opposition is able to reflect the issues of the people. 

Way Forward

Thus, the No Confidence Motion serves as a cornerstone of parliamentary democracy. It promotes transparency, accountability, and the overall health of a democratic system. 

Sources:

M Laxmikanth

Times of India

Indian Kanoon

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