Daily Current Affairs – 2020Topic: For Prelims and Mains
A Rajya Sabha member has filed a petition with the Chairman of the House seeking to initiate breach of privileges and contempt proceedings against the Chief Minister of Kerala after the Kerala Assembly passed a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Parliamentary privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions”.
Parliamentary privileges are defined in Article 105 of the Indian Constitution and those of State legislatures in Article 194.
When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament.
Besides, Rule No 222 in Chapter 20 of the Lok Sabha Rule Book and correspondingly Rule 187 in Chapter 16 of the Rajya Sabha rulebook govern privilege.
Privileges of Parliamentarians:
Each house of Parliament enjoys the right to exclude strangers (no-members or visitors) from the galleries at any time and to resolve to debate with closed doors.
The House has the right to regulate its internal affairs. A member of the House is free to say whatever he likes subject only to the internal discipline of the House or the Committee concerned.
In the Lok Sabha, the Speaker nominates a committee of privileges consisting of 15 members as per respective party strengths. A report is then presented to the House for its consideration.
The Speaker may permit a half-hour debate while considering the report. The Speaker may then pass final orders or direct that the report be tabled before the House.
A resolution may then be moved relating to the breach of privilege that has to be unanimously passed. In the Rajya Sabha, the deputy chairperson heads the committee of privileges, that consists of 10 members.