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THE CONCEPT OF PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGES




The concept of parliament privileges can be defined as special rights, advantage or a benefit which is conferred on a particular person. It can be a advantage given to one over another. This is the definition given In the case of Raja Ram Pal vs Hon’ble Speaker.


Article 105 and 194 of the Indian Constitution of India consists of provision of the power prileges and the immunities of the parliament and its members of the state legislatures.

There is no exact points as to what all are parliamentary privileges. As per Section 3 of these articles refers to the privileges of the house of commons. therefore all those privileges that has the house of commons at the commencement of the constitution as on 26th January 1950



Article 105 of the Indian Constitution


(1) Subject to the provisions of this constitution and the rules and standing orders regulating the procedure of Parliament, there shall be freedom of speech in Parliament.


(2) No Member of Parliament shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any committee thereof, and no person shall be so liable in respect of the publication by or under the authority of either House of Parliament of any report, paper, votes or proceedings.


(3) In other respects, the powers, privileges and immunities of each House of Parliament, and of the members and the committees of each House, shall be such as may from time to time be defined by Parliament by law, and, until so defined shall be those of that House and of its members and committees immediately before the coming into force of Section 15 of the Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Act 1978.


(4) The provisions of clauses (1), (2) and (3) shall apply in relation to persons who by virtue of this constitution have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, a House of Parliament or any committee thereof as they apply in relation to members of Parliament.



Article 194: Powers, privileges, etc., of the House of Legislatures and of the members and committees thereof.-


(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and to the rules and standing orders regulating the procedure of the Legislature, there shall be freedom of speech in the Legislature of every State.


(2) No member of the Legislature of a State shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in the Legislature or any committee thereof, and no person shall be so liable in respect of the publication by or under the authority of a House of such a Legislature of any report, paper, votes or proceedings.


(3) In other respects, the powers, privileges and immunities of a House of the Legislature of a State, and of the members and the committees of a House of such Legislature, shall be such as may from time to time be defined by the Legislature by law, and, until so defined, shall be those of that House and of its members and committees immediately before the coming into force of Section 26 of the Constitution (forty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1978.


(4) The provisions of clauses (1), (2) and (3) shall apply in relation to persons who by virtue of this Constitution have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of a House of the Legislature of a State or any committee thereof as they apply in relation to members of that Legislature.



Parliamentary Privileges and Fundamental rights


In the case of Gunnupati Keshavram Reddi vs Nafisul Hasan the arrest was challenged on the grounds of the violation of Article 22 (2). The SC quashed the detention the ordered the release as been in violation of Article 22(2). Therefore article 194 and Article 105 was subject to Fundamental Right under Article 22(2) .


Further in the Case of the M.S.M Sharma vs S.K Sinha the court decided that the article 194(3) was Subject to the provision of Part III of the Constitution. The court relied on the judgement gave in Guunupati Krshavaram Reddi vs Nafisul Hasan.


In Re under article 143 the Sc was of the view that in case of conflict between fundamental right under Article 19 (1) (a) and a privilege under Article 194 (3) the latter would prevail.


Right of Publication of Proceedings


Clause (2) of Article 105 expressly declares that no person shall be liable in respect of the publication by order under the authority of a house of Parliament, of any report, paper, votes or proceedings. Common law accords the defence of qualified privilege to fair and accurate unofficial reports of parliamentary proceedings, published in a newspaper or elsewhere



Conclusion


The parlimentry privileges are those rights and immunities which are enjoyed by the parliament refer to the rights and the immunities enjoyed by the parliament as a institution and the MP and MLA for there individual capacity


The parliament defines the rights and the immunities which are enjoyed by the MPs.

A breach of privilege is a violation of any of the privileges of MPs/Parliament. Among other things, any action ‘casting reflections’ on MPs, parliament or its committees; could be considered breach of privilege.[1]


[1] http://prsindia.org/theprsblog/parliamentary-privilege-faqs.



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Author Details: Shubhang Gomasta (LLM student, MATS University, Raipur, Chattisgarh).


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