Chapter XII-A ZERO HOUR
113A. Zero hour.– (1) The last half an hour of a sitting shall be utilized as “zero hour” to take up matters of urgent public importance relating to the Government and requiring intervention of the Assembly.
(2) A member may give a notice in writing to the Secretary for a matter to be taken up in the zero hour, between one hour before the scheduled commencement of a sitting and after the time for notice of previous zero hour has elapsed but the Secretary shall not entertain more than one such notice of a member for the sitting.
(3) If two or more notices are received for zero hour from two or more members, the Speaker shall decide the order in which such notices shall be taken up for discussion.
(4) If the notice under sub-rule (2) does not fulfill the condition mentioned in rule 113B, the Speaker may afford an opportunity of personal hearing to the member before declaring the said notice inadmissible.
(5) The member shall not speak for more than five minutes while raising the matter.
(6) The Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary concerned, if present, may respond to the matter raised under sub-rule (2).
(7) If the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary concerned is not present, the Speaker may, if necessary, require the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary concerned to respond to the point raised by the member on a date to be fixed by the Speaker.
113B. Conditions of admissibility.– In order that a notice for zero hour may be admissible, it shall satisfy the following conditions:
(a) it shall not exceed fifty words;
(b) it shall not relate to a matter which has been discussed in the same session or which is substantially identical to the matter already raised by a member during the session;
(c) it shall not raise more than one issue and the issue shall not pertain to trivial matters;
(d) it shall not contain arguments, inferences, ironical expressions, imputations, epithets or defamatory statements;
(e) it shall not relate to any matter which is sub-judice;
(f) it shall relate to a matter of recent occurrence;
(g) it shall not refer to proceedings of the House or a Committee or working of the Assembly Secretariat; and
(h) it shall not refer to the conduct or character of a person except in his public capacity.]
New Chapter added; this amendment was passed by the Assembly on February 17, 2016; see Notification No.PAP/Legis-1(15)/2013/1380, dated 22 February 2016; published on the same day in the Punjab Gazette (Extraordinary), pp 3937-44.