COMMITTEE ON PAPERS LAID / TO BE LAID ON THE TABLE
SCOPE AND FUNCTIONS OF COMMITTEE ON PAPERS LAID / TO BE LAID ON THE TABLE
Papers are laid on the Table in order to supply authoritative facts and information with a view to preparing ground for discussion pertaining to various matters. Papers are so laid either in compliance with specific provisions contained in the Constitution, various statutes and Rules of Procedure, or in pursuance of the directions issued by the Speaker, from time to time.
It has been observed that in a number of cases Annual Reports / Financial Statements of Statutory / Autonomous Bodies etc., which are statutorily required to be laid on the Table, are actually so laid after the lapse of considerably long periods. In some cases these are not laid for years together.
A considerably large number of papers are laid on the Table of the House, but many of these are not available in advance due to which it is not always possible for the Members to exercise vigilance in respect of all the aspects of papers so laid. Further, the House, by itself, is not in a position to closely scrutinize each and every document so laid on the Table.
There was, therefore, a need to check the tendency of avoidable delay in laying such Reports / Financial Statements on the Table of the House and to ensure that the will of the Legislature as embodied in various enactments or requirements in various Rules / Regulations is carried out in letter and spirit.
Keeping in view the position stated above, a Committee on Papers Laid / To be Laid on the Table was, for the first time constituted in 1979.
The Constitution, scope and functions of the Committee on Paper Laid / To be Laid on the Table are set out in Rules 251-C to 251-F of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha (Punjab Legislative Assembly), which are reproduced below :
Constitution of the Committee
(1) There shall be a Committee on Papers laid / to be laid on the Table, consisting of ten members.
(2) The Committee shall be nominated by the Speaker and shall hold office for a term not exceeding one year.
Functions of the Committee
(1) The functions of the shall be to examine all papers laid on the Committee Table by Ministers and to report to the House on
(a) Whether there has been compliance of the provisions of the Constitution, Act rule or regulation under which the paper has been laid;
(b) Whether there has been any unreasonable delay in laying the paper; and
(c) If there has been such delay, whether a statement explaining the reasons for delay has been laid on the Table and whether those reasons are satisfactory.
(2) The Committee shall perform such other functions in respect of the papers laid on the Table as may be assigned to it by the Speaker from time to time.
(3) The Committee shall also examine and report on such cases, where the papers have not been laid on the Table within the time prescribed by the relevant Act, rule, regulation, etc; or where the papers required to be laid have not been so laid on the Table within a reasonable period of time.
Restriction on raising matter in the House
A Member wishing to raise any of the matters referred to in Rule 251-D shall not raise it in the House.
Limitation on the function of the committee
The provisions contained in Rules 251-C and 251-D shall not apply to the functions of matters falling within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Subordinate the Committee Legislation.