Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Parliamentary Privileges

 Parliamentary Privileges


Introduction

Article 105 and Article 194 grant privileges or advantages to the members of the parliament. Purpose behind giving privileges to the MPs and MLAs is to enable them to perform their duties or can function properly without any hindrances. These privileges are considered as special provisions and have an overriding effect in conflict.


Freedom of speech and publication under parliamentary authority

  • No member of parliament will be liable in any proceedings before any Court for anything said or any vote given by him in the Parliament or any committee thereof. 

  • Also, no person will be held liable for any publication of any report, paper, votes or proceedings if the publication is made by the parliament or any authority under it.

  • This privilege can be used in the premises of the parliament and not outside the parliament.

  • Art. 19(1)(a) v. Art. 105 (freedom of speech and publication)

  • P.V. NARSIMHA RAO v. STATE (1998)

   Under Article 105(2), the members of the parliament will get immunity and thus, the activity of taking bribe by the MP’s will get immunity despite anything said by them or any vote given by them in the Parliament. The Court further explained that the word “anything” here will be interpreted as a wider term. The Court interpreted the term “anything” in a wider sense and did not prosecute P.V. Narsimha Rao.


Power to make rules

  • The Parliament has the power, which is given by the Constitution of India, to make its own rules but this power is subjected to the provisions of the Constitution. 

  • Though it can make its own rules, the rules should not be made for its own benefit. 

  • If they make any rule which infringes any provision of the Constitution then it would be held as void.






Freedom from being arrested

  • The member of parliament cannot be arrested 40 days before and 40 days after the session of the house. 

  • If in any case a member of Parliament is arrested within this period, the concerned person should be released in order to attend the session freely.

  • Right to exclude strangers from its proceedings and hold secret sessions

  • Right to prohibit the publication of its reporters and proceedings 

  • Gunupati Keshavram Reddy v. Nafisul Hasan and the State of U.P (AIR 1952)

   it was opined that Article 105 and Article 194 cannot supersede the fundamental rights.

  • MSM Sharma v. Sri Krishna Sinha AIR 1959 SC 395

   Article 19(1)(a) as it is a general provision and Article 194 is a special provision. If at any time both of these articles come under any conflict the latter will prevail over the former. As the general provision cannot overrule the effect of the special provision.


Right to punish members or outsiders for contempt

  • This right has been given to every house of the Parliament. If any of its members or maybe non-members commit contempt or breach any of the privileges given to him/her, the houses may punish the person.

  • The houses have the right to punish any person for any contempt made against the houses in the present or in the past. 


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