Censure Motion

A censure means an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. It can be a stern rebuke by a legislature, generally opposition against the policies of Government or an individual minister. However, it can also be passed to criticise, condemn some act. A censure motion can be moved in lower house of the parliament or in a state assembly in India.

Usually we come across this word in context with the parliament of India, where it is moved by opposition against a specific policy of government or against a minister or against the whole council of ministers.

Please note that in Parliament, there are three types of censure voting. At the highest level is the confidence vote, which the government has to win to stay in power. Next comes the adjournment motion, a severe censure motion in itself that does not enjoin a legal obligation to resign but is severely embarrassing for a government to lose. Since 1991, there have been four censure motions, all during the P V Narasimha Rao government, and all of which was staved off with some nifty parliamentary footwork. The third is the motion under Rule 184 (of Parliament rule book), ranking slightly below which is Rule 193. Again, even if the government does lose under Rule 184 it is not bound to resign, even though it is a loss of face.

Thus, if the censure motion is passed against a Government, council of ministers shall pass a confidence motion as soon as possible to regain the trust of the house. There is no limit on the number of censure motions that can be introduced in a session.

This motion can be moved only in Lok Sabha and by the opposition of the house. It can be moved against the ruling government or against any minister for the failure to act or seeking disapproval of their policy. If the censure motion is passed, the government does not need to resign, unlike in case of No-confidence motion.


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