Recently, we saw Lok Sabha members move two different motions precisely the ‘no confidence motion’ and ‘privilege motion’. While we have discussed ‘no confidence motion’ in the earlier blog already, here’s all about privilege motion in India.
What does Privilege motion mean?
Unlike the no confidence motion, the privilege motion is applicable to both the Rajya-Sabha and the Lok Sabha. As MP’s of the Parliament, the members are granted certain privileges individually as well as collectively so that they can perform their duties properly. But, if any of the member disregards these immunities or rights, the act is known as breach of privilege and is liable to be punished under the same as per the Parliament laws.
When a MP sees a breach of privilege by another member/members, he or she can move the privilege motion against all those accused of the breach. Besides, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha both have the power to punish any contempt of the parliament other than breach of privilege considered against its dignity or authority.
Rule 187 / 222
The privilege motion has a mention in Chapter 20 of rule 22 for the Lok Sabha and Chapter 16 Rule 187 for the Rajya Sabha. If any member wants to move the privilege motion he or she has to provide a notice to the Speaker before 10 am against any other member, committee or even the house. The first scrutiny level of the privilege motion in the Lok Sabha is through the Speaker and Rajya Sabha through the Chairperson. If the Speaker or Chairperson admits the motion than the accused or concerned is given a chance to explain themselves.
Referring a Motion
After listening to the member the Speaker/Chairperson can refer the motion to the parliamentary committee. It consists of 15 members in equal strength from various political parties. They prepare a report on the same and a debate of one and half hour is allowed on the report prior passing the final orders. The speaker may also suggest that the ordered be tabled and decision or resolution be passed on it in collectively. The procedure remains the same for the Rajya Sabha or the upper house as well. Only that in the Rajya Sabha the committee is made up of only 10 members against 15.
In the Past, many privilege motions have been passed in the Lok Sabha, but most of them have been rejected and only some have demanded action on the same. One of the most notable cases of the privilege motion was the one that was passed against Indira Gandhi in the year 1978. It was moved in by the then Home Minister Charan Singh. It was based on Justice Shah Commission observations while investigating excesses during Emergency. Even though Indira Gandhi had won the Lok Sabha elections then, was expelled from the house owing to the same. In another case, it was BJP MP Subramanian Swamy who was expelled by the Parliament for giving explosive interviews to foreign publications and thereby disgracing the house.
*Source from the Internet