PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 - Polity)

News-CRUX-10     27th July 2023        
output themes

Context: Congress president and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said that he was “insulted” when his microphone was turned off while he was speaking during the session. 

  • He called it a breach of his Parliamentary privilege.

Breach of Privileges

  • About: Breach of privilege refers to some of the distinct rights that are enjoyed by the legislators in a parliament or an assembly without which they cannot discharge their functions and these rights are peculiar to them and as such are not enjoyed by members of any other institution or body of individuals. 
  • Constitutional Provisions: In India, these privileges emanate from the Constitution itself with identical provisions in this regard in the form of Articles 105 and 194, which give these privileges to the Members of Parliament and members of the state legislature respectively. These Privileges can be classified into two broad categories:
    • Collective Privileges - Those that are collectively enjoyed by the each House of Parliament.
    • Individual Privileges - Those that are individually enjoyed by the members.

  • Committee of Privileges: Each House of Parliament and its Committees collectively and members of each House individually enjoy certain rights, privileges and immunities without which they cannot perform their functions efficiently and effectively.
    • The Committee consists of 15 members (10 members in the case of Rajya Sabha) nominated by the Speaker (Chairman in the case of Rajya Sabha).
      • In the Lok Sabha, the Speaker nominates the head of the committee of privileges.
      • In the Rajya Sabha, the deputy chairperson heads the committee of privileges.
      • Its function is to examine every question involving a breach of privilege of the House or the members of any Committee.
      • It determines concerning the facts and makes suitable recommendations in its report.