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Suspension of MPs Hinders Parliamentary Committee Participation

  • Published
    14th Aug, 2023
Context

The recent suspensions of leaders in Parliament has ignited a debate on the potential infringement of MPs' privileges and the arbitrary use of suspension as a political tool.

What are the issues arising out of such suspension?

  • It disrupts MPs active engagement in vital parliamentary committees, casting a shadow over effective governance.
  • Potential infringement of MPs' privileges.
  • Potential misuse of suspension
  • Impact on parliamentary functioning

What are Privilege motions?

  • Privilege motionsrevolve around the concept of parliamentary privilege, which confers certain rights upon Members of Parliament to facilitate the conduct of business on the floor of the House.
  • Though an exhaustive list of these privileges doesn't exist, they generally encompass the freedom of expression during parliamentary debates, with MPs being immune to court proceedings for their speech.

When does Privilege committee come into role?

  • When it is believed that a privilege has been breached, any member can raise a motion. If admitted by the Chairman, it can be referred to the Privileges Committee. 
  • For a question of privilege to be raised, two conditions must be fulfilled-
    • The matter must relate to a recent occurrence
    • The matter necessitate Rajya Sabha’s intervention
  • Composition: The Privileges Committee consists of ten members who are nominated by the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
  • Headed by: The Privileges Committee is headed by a Chairman chosen from among the members.
  • The Committee'sresponsibility is to examine cases and provide suitable recommendations. It can summon relevant individuals for examination and study pertinent documents.
  • Subsequently, the committee generates a report, to be presented within a month of the reference date if no specific time has been set by the Rajya Sabha Chairman.
  • The report's consideration requires a motion, with the possibility of suggested amendments. Members can agree, disagree or propose amendments to the Privileges Committee’s report.
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