Chapters :
  • LIBERAL INTELLECTUAL PRINCIPLES – 08

  • RAJYA SABHA

  • PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGES

LIBERAL INTELLECTUAL PRINCIPLES – 08

RajyaSabha:
The Deputy Chairman: 1)  He is elected by the RS from amongst its members and he does not take any oath or affirmation. 2) When the office of Chairman is vacant or the Chairman is absent, the Deputy Chairman assumes office and discharges the functions. 3) He is not subordinate to the Chairman. He is directly responsible to the RS. 4) He can be removed by a resolution passed by the LS with an absolute majority.
The Panel of Vice Chairpersons: 1) The Chairman nominates not more than ten members from amongst the members of RS as vice chairpersons. 2) Any one among them will discharge the functions of the Chairman during the absence of Chairman and Deputy Chairman. 3) They cannot act as Chairman when the offices of Chairman and Deputy Chairman are vacant. In that case the President may appoint a person for the purpose.
PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGES The parliamentary privileges are special immunities and advantages enjoyed by the Parliament as an institution, its members as individuals and its committees over the citizens of India. These privileges provide insulation to the members of Parliament for their actions from the general laws and ensures their effective functioning. The powers and privileges of Parliament and its members are dealt with in article 105. Article 105(1) of the constitution ensures freedom of speech in the Parliament, subject to the provisions of the constitution and the rules and orders that regulate the functioning of Parliament. The freedom of speech guaranteed under article 19(1)(a) and 105(1) are not the same. Under article 105(1), only immunities are provided from prosecution for anything said in the Parliament. The freedom of speech under this article includes freedom to express, hence it provides protection against any votes given in the house or its committees, questions raised, motions and resolutions passed, publishing of reports and so on. These cannot be questioned in any court of law.
Note: ●     Use of unparliamentary terms and unparliamentary conduct are prohibited. ●     Article 105 does not allow for discussing the conduct of judges of Supreme Court and the High Courts. ●     The protection under this article is available only when a member attends the session. ●     When a member publishes his speech outside the Parliament, he can be held liable for defamation or otherwise. ●     The privileges are not explicitly enumerated in the constitution. It has empowered the Parliament to enact laws for determining the privileges. ●       The privileges and immunities are available even for persons who have the authority to speak in or participate in the proceedings of the houses or their committees such as the Attorney General of India and the Ministers.
The parliamentary privileges include the following in addition to the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under article 105(1).
  1. Freedom from arrest:
The Members of Parliament cannot be arrested in civil proceedings during the session and 40 days before and after the session. This immunity is not available for criminal proceedings, preventive detention and contempt of court.
  1. Right to exclude strangers:
Each house has the freedom to hold secret meetings by excluding the non-members from attending them.
  1. Right to prohibit the publication of its proceedings:
Any part of the proceedings of the houses can be removed by the respective presiding officers and can be prohibited from publishing.
  1. Right to regulate internal proceedings:
Each house has the liberty to frame rules to regulate the procedure of conduct of its business. These cannot be questioned in the courts.
  1. Right to punish for the contempt of the house:
Each house has the power to punish both its members and non-members for breaching the privileges.
  1. Freedom from appearing as a witness in courts:
The members are free from appearing as witnesses in the courts and are allowed to attend the sessions to carry out their duties.
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