BEWARE OF FAKE INSTITUTES WITH SIMILAR NAMES. blank    blank
banner

Indian Parliamentary Privileges: Balancing Rights and Powers



  Sep 29, 2023

Parliamentary Privileges and Immunities



Legal Basis: Article 105(2) of the Indian Constitution.

Why Provided: To ensure MPs can perform legislative duties without undue external pressure.

What They Include: Freedom of speech within the house, protection from arrest in civil cases, etc.

Breach of Privilege

Definition: Violation or compromise of the special rights granted to MPs.

Examples: Obstructing an MP's attendance, unauthorized publication of expunged house proceedings.

Legal Provisions: Uncodified, but guided by conventions and customs, including British House of Commons practice.

Reporting a Breach of Privilege

Privilege Motion: Raised by any MP to bring attention to a breach.

Speaker/Chairman's Role: Scrutinizes the motion and decides whether to take action or refer it to the Privileges Committee.

Privileges Committee

Composition: Chaired by an MP, and includes members from various parties.

Function: Examines the breach, collects evidence, and recommends action.

Legal Provision: Rule 203 allows referral of any question of privilege to the Committee.

Possible Actions by Parliament

Based on Committee Recommendations: Actions can range from reprimand, fines, suspension to expulsion.

Parliamentary Approval: The House decides whether to accept the committee’s recommendations, either wholly or partially.

Legal Consequences Outside Parliament

No Parliamentary Immunity: Legal immunity under Article 105(2) does not extend outside Parliament.
 

Possible Charges:

Section 298 of IPC: Wounding religious feelings (Up to 1-year imprisonment).

Section 500 of IPC: Defamation (Up to 2 years).

Section 506 of IPC: Criminal intimidation (Up to 2 years).

Who Can File a Complaint: Any MP, typically through the Speaker or Chairman.

Basis for Specific Complaints: Could include unauthorized publication or misleading facts presented to media.

What Usually Happens: Most notices get rejected; penal action is rare but possible based on the severity of the breach.

interplay between parliamentary privileges and fundamental rights, particularly under Articles 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Indian Constitution, is a nuanced area of law.

Freedom of Speech vs. Parliamentary Privilege

Article 19(1)(a): Grants all citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression.

Parliamentary Privilege: However, the House's privilege can override this, meaning that what an MP says in the House is immune from legal action, but the same remarks could be actionable if said outside.

Fundamental Rights and Legislative Privileges: The Keshav Singh Case Example

Freedom of Speech vs. Parliamentary Privilege

Article 19(1)(a): Grants all citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression.However,it is subordinate to the parliamentary privileges.

Parliamentary Privilege: An MP is not subject to the limitations under Art.19 and whatever he says in the House is immune from legal action, but the same remarks could bArticle 121 places a specific limitation on parliamentary discussions,
stating that the conduct of a judge from either the Supreme Court or a High Court cannot be debated in the legislative chamber unless there is an ongoing consideration of a motion for the judge's removal.e actionable if said outside.There are different restrictions though.

Constitutional Safeguard on Privileges: The Keshav Singh Case 1964

Article 21: Ensures no one can be deprived of their life or personal liberty without a fair procedure.

Keshav Singh Case: The Supreme Court held that violations of Article 21 due to the exercise of powers under Article 194(3) (which relates to parliamentary privileges) can be examined by the Court.Read on

Uncodified Privileges and Article 21

Since the privileges of Parliament are not codified, they're subject to interpretation and legal scrutiny.That means, where the procedure for denial of Art.21 is not clear,courts have room for interpretation.

In cases where there is a potential conflict between uncodified privileges and Article 21, the latter prevails, ensuring that any deprivation of life or personal liberty undergoes a fair and just procedure.

So, while MPs have certain privileges that even supersede ordinary citizens' right to freedom of speech under Article 19(1)(a), these privileges are not absolute.
They can be examined under the lens of Article 21, which mandates a fair procedure for any action that deprives an individual of life or personal liberty.
This harmonizes the functioning of democratic institutions with the fundamental rights of individuals.
 
Unlock the secrets of Indian Polity with the ultimate guidebook : Constitution , Three Pillars of Democracy , Election Magic , Judicial Powerhouse , and the enigma of Article 370 #CrackTheCodeOfGovernance with INDIAN POLITY by SRIRANGAM SRIRAMs


Share:
 

Get a call back

Fill the below form to get free counselling for UPSC Civil Services exam preparation

 
UPSC DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS

 
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
 
Antimalarial resistance in Africa:
 
GENDER GAP IN EDUCATION IN INDIA 2024
 
Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in India
 
Nipah virus:
 
GOBARDHAN SCHEME OVERVIEW
 
ODISHA’S SHADOW CABINET: DEEP DIVE
 
MONETARY POLICY: DOVES AND HAWKS
 
RBI-INTEREST & EXCHANGE RATES: INDIAN RUPEE
 
FOREX RESERVES FAQs: SIMPLIFIER
 
RUPEE FLOAT: SIMPLIFIER
 
CURRENCY DEPRECIATION AND DEVALUATION
 
RBI FINANCIAL INCLUSION (FI) INDEX
 
Stagflation: Causes, Effects, and Economic Impact
 
Inflation Expectations in India:Simplifier