As uncertainty loomed on Wednesday morning over the presentation of the Union Budget 2017-2018 following the death of Lok Sabha MP E Ahamed, Subhash C Kashyap, the Lok Sabha's former secretary general, explains why the Budget can be presented in the House today.
It (postponing Budget proceedings or adjourning the proceedings of the House in case of the death of a member when the House is in session) is not part of the Constitution or any law or rule. It is only a convention.
If a member during the session (of the House) dies and if the funeral is to take place in Delhi, then in order to enable members to attend the funeral the House is adjourned for the day.
In the present case, the funeral is to take place perhaps tomorrow outside Delhi in Kerala. So, there are two possibilities.
One, the obituary reference may be made in the House today, silence observed, and thereafter the Budget is presented.
After the presentation of the Budget, the House will be adjourned.
If necessary, since the funeral is to take place tomorrow and some members may like to attend the funeral, the House can be adjourned the whole day tomorrow.
There is no precedent for postponing the Budget.
The decision to let the Budget be tabled in the House (the Lok Sabha) has to be taken by the Speaker in consultation with the leader of the House of which the deceased MP was a member and leaders of the Opposition, but the power to take the final decision rests with the speaker.
As told to Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore