Monsoon session of the parliament is taking place from September 14 to October 1 this year. But this is only a truncated version of the session due to the pandemic. 

Apart from that the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats also informed the Member of Parliaments that there will be no Question Hour and Zero Hour will be restricted during this Monsoon session.

Many claimed it to be an attempt to curb the democratic rights of parliamentarians who represent us the voters and question government policy or decisions. 

Especially in the times of a pandemic, there are a lot of questions that people want answers to. But first, let’s look at what is Question Hour and Zero Hour.

Question Hour

Question Hour is the most liveliest and important time in a parliament session. Members of Parliament ask questions to Ministers about their ministries. Mostly, MPs questions their way or working or to elicit a response and triggers an action by the Ministers.

Usually, the first hour of a parliamentary sitting is reserved for the Question Hour and the presiding officers of the two houses remain the final authority on how to conduct the Question Hour. In 2014, Question Hour timings were changed by Hamid Ansari to 11 am to 12 noon to prevent disruptions.

Zero Hour

Although the rules of procedure do not say anything about Zero Hour, it is considered to be an Indian innovation which started in the first decade of the Parliament. Members of Parliament felt the need to raise important issues related to their constituencies and other issues of national importance.

Earlier Parliament used to break for lunch at 1 PM. MPs would be allowed to raise issues at 12 noon without an advance notice which would last till 1 PM. Hence, it was called Zero Hour.