Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day on Thursday following a request from the government that the Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022 be taken up for consideration when Opposition members are also present in the House.
After the House reassembled at 2:15 pm following a routine adjournment, Union minister Jitendra Singh said his request is that the bill be taken up for consideration only when Opposition members are present as it is an important legislation.
Several Opposition members were not present in the House, with many of them protesting outside over Congress president Sonia Gandhi's questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in the National Herald money laundering case.
The chair, Bhartruhari Mahtab, took the sense of the House noting that the presence of Opposition was negligible, and adjourned the proceedings for the day.
The bill seeks to give effect to the Antarctic Treaty, the Convention on Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.
It also seeks to protect the Antarctic environment and regulate activities in the region.
Earlier, Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned briefly as Opposition parties voiced their protest against rising prices and the ED summons to Gandhi.
The Congress and other Opposition parties sought to raise the issues as soon as the House convened for the day and began shouting slogans. Many members trooped into the Well of the House displaying placards even as Question Hour started.
Speaker Om Birla adjourned the House for a brief period. Proceedings resumed around 11.30 am with Congress members staying away and DMK members staging a walkout.
Union minister Pralhad Joshi asked whether the opposition party believes everyone is equal before the law or not.
"Is she some 'super human' because she is the Congress president?"
The parliamentary affairs minister also said opposition parties wanted to discuss the issue of price rise in the House and the government was ready for it.
"Once the health of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is fine, the discussion can be taken up," the minister said.
Amid the din, a question related to installation of solar power panels was taken up during the Question Hour that went on for just about 10 minutes.
The speaker told the protesting members that issues can be raised after Question Hour.
However, as the ruckus continued, the proceedings were adjourned till 11.30 am.
Some Congress members displayed placards with the words Satyameva Jayate and a photograph of Sonia Gandhi.
Opposition parties also protested against price rise.
They have been protesting against the government over price rise, levying of Goods and Services Tax on certain daily use items and other issues since the Monsoon Session of Parliament started on July 18.
The Rajya Sabha on Thursday finally managed to conduct Question Hour amid a protest by opposition parties and a brief adjournment, after the first three days of the monsoon session were washed out due to disruptions.
In the Upper House, Question Hour starts at noon.
During Question Hour, members ask questions and the ministers concerned reply.
On Thursday, 15 oral questions were listed and the House was able to take up 13.
The House was first adjourned for about an hour soon after it met for the day as opposition members protested against issues of price rise and GST levy on daily essentials.
It was adjourned again for 10 minutes during Question Hour as opposition members continued to create an uproar.
The first three days of the monsoon session of Parliament were washed out amid protests by opposition parties, including the Congress, against price rise, GST levy on daily essentials and the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme.
When the House re-assembled for Question Hour after the first adjournment, opposition members started protesting.
Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was in the Chair, urged the protesting members to not enter the well with placards, saying it was against parliamentary traditions.
"Please go to your seats and do not display placards. They are against Rajya Sabha rules," he said.
"Question Hour is very important and those in the well with placards are wrong," Harivansh said.
Opposition member Sanjay Singh stood before the chair of secretary general PC Mody, who was not present in the House as he is the returning officer for the presidential election.
Holding a placard, Singh appeared before the deputy chairman and kept raising slogans, prompting the Chair to adjourn the House briefly for 10 minutes around 12.25 pm.
When the House met at 12.35 pm, opposition leaders again entered the well and raised slogans.
However, Harivansh decided to continue Question Hour.
Amid sloganeering against the government on different issues, some members sought to raise a 'point of order'.
With the Chair's permission, Tiruchi Siva of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam raised a 'point of order'.
He said that he along with another member has given the notice to suspend the listed business and discuss the issue of price rise.
However, Harivansh said there is no provision for raising a 'point of order' during Question Hour.
The Chair also asked some members, including Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, to not do videography and photography in the House as it was not permitted.
Before the Rajya Sabha went for a break at 1 pm, the listed papers were laid on the table of the House.
Generally, the listed papers are tabled at the start of the proceedings of the day. But that could not be done on Thursday due to disruptions.