AUTHOR:

Ms. Utkarshini Rai,
Student,
National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi

CO-AUTHOR:

Mr. Vijay Rohan Krishna,
Student,
National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi

Abstract

Parliamentary Privileges have been guaranteed under the Constitution of India for the smooth functioning of the proceedings of the Houses and the impartial and duty-bound conduct of the Parliamentarians. This paper discusses the historical backgrounds of the provisions including their origin from British laws, what is the procedure and protocol currently followed upon the breach of such privileges, what are the exemptions for members of the Houses, under what conditions do the exemptions not work. Further, the privileges are discussed in detail, along with instances of breach of privilege and the role of the judiciary in safeguarding the Constitution under such circumstances. Lastly, the recurring recommendations of codifying these privileges have been discussed, which have been done to curb the instances previously mentioned and to point out definitive limits to the privileges, which have been going on unchecked in the absence of express provisions.

Keywords: parliamentary privileges; codification; immunity; jurisdiction

Introduction

Parliamentary Privileges have been guaranteed under the Constitution of India for the smooth functioning of the proceedings of the Houses and the impartial and duty-bound conduct of the Parliamentarians. This paper discusses the historical backgrounds of the provisions including their origin from British laws, what is the procedure and protocol currently followed upon the breach of such privileges, what are the exemptions for members of the Houses, under what conditions do the exemptions not work. Further, the privileges are discussed in detail, along with instances of breach of privilege and the role of the judiciary in safeguarding the Constitution under such circumstances. Lastly, the recurring recommendations of codifying these privileges have been discussed, which have been done to curb the instances previously mentioned and to point out definitive limits to the privileges, which have been going on unchecked in the absence of express provisions.

Background

The term “Parliamentary Privileges” denotes both the Rights and Immunities of the Parliament and its members. This concept of Parliamentary privilege was not new when Constitution of India came in the existence in 1950, as the foundation of Parliamentary Privileges is laid down in Government of India Act, 1919[1]. Article 105[2] of Indian Constitution relate to the ‘Power, Privileges and immunities of Parliament and its members’, is the same as that of Article 194 as former deal with privileges of both Lok Sabha (House of People) and Rajya Sabha (Council of States), while latter deal with State Legislatures[3]. There are several rights and privileges of the house and whenever any of these are being infringed and disregarded it comes under the offence of Breach of Privilege[4] and is punishable under the law of Parliament. Hon’ble Justice C. K. Thakkar, said that

“Parliamentary Privileges as those fundamental rights which the House and its Members possess so as to enable them to carry out their functions effectively and efficiently” [5]

These privileges are given to the House and its members for the smooth and better functioning of the parliament; they do not intend to place any ordinary man or parliamentarian on different footings in the matter of the application of law, unless there are valid and sufficient reasons in the interest of the Parliament. Section 15 of 44th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1978, changed the originally enacted Article 105(3):

“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 the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and of its members and committees, at the commencement of this Constitution”

to the present amended Article 105(3) which says:

“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”[6]

India being a proud sovereign country, the purpose behind this amendment was to remove the reference of another country in the law of the land. Therefore, the Parliament amended the original Article 105(3), but the condition and adoption of privileges are the same as those on 26th January 1950.

Privileges without Borders?

When it comes to misuse of Parliamentary Privileges, the first thing that comes into one’s mind is the emergency era under the premiership of Indira Gandhi. She had brought in the 42nd constitutional amendment to the Parliament when the top opposition leaders had been put in jail without trial in June 1975. It reframed the Indian polity drastically and gave her extensive powers to ban political parties. In 1933, Hitler jailed as many as 33 members of the Reichstag under emergency laws, in order to push through the Enabling Act which gave him sweeping powers to establish his autocracy. The law disqualified membership of the legislature to a person convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a specified term. But preventive detention is not a punishment. It is preventive, not penal. Something similar can be seen in the present scenario where when the Parliament reassembled for its winter session on Nov 18, its upper house resounded with the cry of “where is Farooq?”, referring to the Kashmiri leader Farooq Abdullah’s house arrest since 5th August, when Kashmir’s special status was revoked[7].

The following immunities have been provided according to the Constitution. But on a closer look, there seems to be a complete lack of restriction upon them.

Freedom of Speech and Control Publication of Speech:

An individual in the Parliament is immune from any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any committee thereof[8]; immunity from proceedings in any court in respect of the publication by and under any authority of either House of Parliament of any report, paper, vote or proceeding. Courts are prohibited to inquire for validity of any proceeding in parliament on the ground of irregularity of procedure[9]. No person can be liable to any civil or criminal proceeding for publishing any true report on newspaper or broadcast on wireless telegraphy, of either House of parliament and State legislatures; unless it is proved that it is made with malice[10]. However, this immunity is not available for secret sittings of House[11]. Members enjoy complete protection even though their words may be malicious, frivolous or false to their knowledge, and even then, the courts have no jurisdiction to take action against members for their speech even those which may amount to contempt of court[12]. The House also has powers to discipline its own members. It can regulate its own procedure, and has a right to exclude strangers to ensure the privacy of debates. The members cannot discuss the conduct of any judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court, except for the removal of the Judge[13].

In the case of Pandit M. S. M Sharma v. Shri Krishna Sinha[14]proceedings had been initiated for the breach of privileges against the editor of a newspaper for publication of that part of the speech of a member which the Speaker had ordered to expunge. The editor filed the case against the proceeding under Article 32, but the Supreme Court held that the House has the powers and the privilege of prohibiting the publication of an inaccurate version of debates or proceedings.

In P. V. Narsimha Rao[15] case, the majority judgment was that the members of Parliament who have either given bribe or taken will not be immune from court proceedings under Article 105(2) regardless whether they had participated in the process of voting or not. It was in this case where Justice G. N. Ray in a separate but concurring opinion observed that the underlying object in guaranteeing freedom of speech and freedom to vote should be promoted by giving a wide interpretation to the expression “in respect of”. If so interpreted, an action impugned in a court proceeding having a nexus with the vote cast or speech made in the Parliament is protected under Article105 (2).

The National Commission for Review of the Constitution[16] recommended the amendment in Article 105(2) to clarify that the immunities enjoyed by the Member of Parliament and Legislature does not protect corrupt acts committed by them in connection with the duties in the House. So, they will be liable for such acts as in the ordinary law of land. In 2007, the act of a member of Parliament taking bribes for asking specific questions on the floor of the house came under the purview of Breach of Privileges. Thus, the member was expelled from the Parliament[17].

Freedom from Arrest and Exemption from Attendance as Witness:

A member of parliament cannot be arrested and/or detained for his civil wrong during the prorogation of a session of the House or meeting of any Committees and even forty days before or after that session, if he or she is a member of that committee[18]. The need of this privilege lies in the fact that the House has the foremost right of its members’ service and if anyone obstructs or prevents its member to attend his or her parliamentary duty during the period of journey to and from the Parliament, the obstructer will be liable for the contempt and breach of privileges. These privileges also relieve a member from being a witness in any civil case. This privilege is enjoyed by the members only for civil cases; it is not intended for interference in administration of the criminal justice system such as in case of preventive detention, POTA, NSA or any such other legislation. The detained member can attend the House in detention period if the jail authority permits him or her to do so. The member does not enjoy any privilege to claim any special status for attending the House at the time of detention[19].The member cannot be arrested within the precincts of the House without the permission of the Chairman, regardless of the House being in session[20]. As the Chairman is the safe keeper of Parliamentary Privileges, therefore, to arrest any Parliamentarian from the House, one needs the prior permission of the Chairman. It is also an obligation of the concerned authority to report the reason of arrest to the Chairman as soon as possible. There should be no misbehavior and ill-treatment towards the members of the House by the jail authorities. If such an instance happens, it will lead to a Breach of Privilege[21]. What is important to know is that no parliamentary privilege can be exercised if the arrest is made under Section 151 of Criminal Procedure Code, which says “Arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences”. The members of the Parliament are exempted from attending a court as a witness and from being a surety for bail. In in re: Pillalamarri Venkateswarlu[22] case, it was clearly laid down by the court that no member can claim parliamentary privileges for criminal cases. These privileges are limited to civil cases only as privileges do not give the authority to disturb the Criminal Justice System.

Additionally, in the case of K. Anandan Nambiar v. Chief Secretary, Government of Madras[23], it was laid down that in the matter of a valid order of detention, the Parliamentarian does not enjoy special attention and would be arrested as any ordinary citizen.

Right to Punish Members and Outsiders for Breach of its Privileges:

The House has the power to punish for the contempt or breach of privileges by its members or by an outsider. No other authority can exercise this power, i.e. to punish the member or any other person for the acts/omission done in the House. This power is similar to the power possessed by the superior courts of justice to punish for contempt, which is why the House can be called a “quasi-judicial” body. This power is the “keystone of parliamentary privileges” and as it is necessary for proper discharge of its function and to safeguard its authority and privilege[24]. The house can imprison a person to the custody of its own officer or to any state prison, the commitment being for any period not beyond the date of the prorogation of the House and impose fines when the offence of breach of privilege or contempt of the House is serious or of grave nature such as shouting slogans, throwing chairs, and other objectionable acts in the house. The powers of House also includes the one where the House can arrest an offender through his officers or through the aid and power of the civil government, the power to reprimand or issue admonition to an offender, the power of the House to direct the Attorney-General to prosecute an offender where the breach of privileges is also an offence under law[25]. In 2014, a Member of Parliament used pepper spray in the House to prevent the introduction and discussion of the Telangana Bill[26]. A member of house can be punished for his act not only inside the House but also for his ill-conduct outside the House which tends to harm the dignity and authority of the House[27]. Each House of the Parliament enjoys the right to exclude non-members from the visitors’ gallery at any time for the smooth conduction of its proceedings and to do it within closed doors. The punishment for disturbing the proceedings of the House can be imprisonment for a specified period or a strict warning, depending upon the severity of the offence[28].

The most important power which House has is to punish a member by suspending him or her from the service of the House or by discharging him, thereby rendering his seat vacant. There are two distinct judgments regarding this. First, when the Punjab and Haryana High court had said that the House has no power of expulsion[29] and second, when the Madhya Pradesh High Court had declared that the House has the power to do so[30]. Consequently, in the case of Raja Ram Pal[31], it was clearly laid down that if a member breaches the privileges of the House, then the House can order his or her expulsion and render the seat vacant. In addition to this is the case of Amrinder Singh v. Spl. Committee, Punjab Vidhan Sabha[32], where the then-Chief Minister of Punjab did a corrupt act in furtherance of his executive duty in 12th Vidhan Sabha. In the 13th Vidhan Sabha when he was the leader of opposition, a special committee expelled him from the House for his breach of privileges during the 12th Vidhan Sabha, contending that his act of corruption had injured the dignity of the House and hence, would come under the purview of Breach of Privileges. The Supreme Court had held that the act of the Chief Minister does not fall under the ambit of parliamentary privileges as it was done outside the Parliament and hence, the contention laid down by the special committee was rejected.

Other Ancillary Privileges of House:

The House has many other ancillary powers which it can use for the daily work of the House or for maintaining and regulating its powers, privileges and immunities. There is the power of the House to regulate its own functioning by making its own procedure and code of conduction and formation. The other privileges of the House include providing for its own due constitution or composition, the power to order the issue of new writs to fill vacancies in the house, the power in respect of the trial of the challenged elections of members, the power of house to determine qualification of its member to sit and vote, which in case of doubt leads to expulsion of the member[33]. The act of questioning the character and the impartiality of the Speaker/Chairman, offering bribe to any member to impact his or her parliamentary conduct, obstructing any witness or evidence which is to be present in a parliamentary proceeding, etc. amounts to contempt of the House thus, breaching of the privileges[34].

The Role of the Judiciary in Drawing a Line

The Supreme Court, in a presidential reference under Article 143[35] arising out conflict between the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Allahabad High Court in Keshav Singh’s[36] case, held that the powers and privileges conferred on State Legislatures by Article 194(3)[37] were subject to the fundamental rights and that the legislatures did not have the privilege or power to the effect that. The Apex court also held that the effect of the provisions contained in clause (3) of Article 194, is that wherever there is a conflict between the said provisions and the provisions pertaining to the fundamental rights, a conflict can be resolved by the adoption of the rule of Harmonious Construction[38]. In 1984, the Presiding Officers Conference passed resolution reiterating, that a legislature in India has exclusive jurisdiction to decide all matters relating to privileges of the House, their members and committees without any interference from the courts of law or any other authority[39]. In the matter of Privilege jurisdiction on a foreign national (The Swaraj Paul case[40]), the Committee of Privileges obtained opinion of the Attorney-General and held that Parliament can exercise its jurisdiction against a foreign national for contempt committed by him within the country[41]. But the court barred the committee from the irrational manner of conduct and unhealthy usage of the privileges. Further, in the Raja Ram Pal[42]case, the Apex Court had laid down several limitations on the privileges i.e. the Court will have the power to judicially review the powers, privileges and the proceeding of Houses and whenever a complaint of a member or a non-member of House regarding the breach of Fundamental Rights under Articles 20 or 21 is filed, it will be the duty and scope of the court to examine the merits of said contention. In respect of the ill use of privileges and for defining its parameters, the court again has the power to judicial review. The Constitution of India abhors absolutism and it is the cardinal principle of our constitution that no one should be the sole judge of the power given under the Constitution. Mere coordinate constitutional status, or exalted constitutional functionaries, does not disentitle the court from exercising its jurisdiction of judicial review. The bar on judicial review of proceedings of Houses conducted under Articles 105(3) or 194(3) are ‘contaminated on account of substantive or gross illegality or unconstitutionality’. The Apex court also stated that “it would not be correct to say that all powers and privileges which were possessed by the House of Commons at the relevant time can be claimed by the House. It is also given in Article 211 that the conduct of a judge in the discharge of its duty cannot become subject matter in any action taken by House in furtherance of the power, privileges and immunities enjoyed by the house”[43].

This arose due to the question whether a Parliamentary Standing Committee was protected under Article 105(2). This case is a group of PILs bunched together which were filed before the Supreme Court in 2012 and 2013 regarding the unethical conduct of the “demonstration project” of the two HPV vaccines, on 23,000 girls aged between 9 and 16 years. The project was launched in 2009, by the two state governments of (undivided) Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Gujarat in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Seattle-based NGO, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH). This was part of a four-nation initiative against cervical cancer, initiated by PATH and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) since 2006 in Peru, Uganda, Vietnam and India. The vaccines were provided free of cost by two pharmaceutical companies, Merck Sharp and Dohme and GlaxoSmithkline. Following media reports of six deaths (four in AP and two in Gujarat] amongst girls who had received the vaccine, the “demonstration project” unfolded as significant human rights, ethical and political issue in the civil society advocacy space but also in Parliament. Subsequently, the 72nd Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare carried out an enquiry into the “demonstration project” and presented its report on the “Alleged Irregularities in the Conduct of Studies using HPV Vaccine”, in the Rajya Sabha on the August 30, 2013. The PSC report took unstinting cognizance of the procedural and ethical lapses in the HPV vaccine “demonstration” project. The PSC’s findings, as reflected in the report, raise fundamental questions regarding the nature of the “demonstration” project, about the selection of vulnerable groups, absence of a process of informed consent, of reporting of adverse events, and of the declaration of conflict of interest among many others. The report also interrogates the role of the Ethics Committees and their function, the roles of the ICMR and the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), as well as the role of PATH. The senior counsel, appearing for Merck Sharp and Dohme, one of the pharmaceutical companies, raised an objection against relying on the standing committee report. He contended that the PSC report had observations against the pharmaceutical companies; he argued that it would be difficult to contest the veracity of the report, as it would violate parliamentary privilege. He further argued that the report recorded the deposition of a witness who submitted before the PSC against the pharmaceutical company (his client) on the basis of which the committee made certain observations. He stated that the pharmaceutical companies had not got an opportunity to depose; hence relying on the PSC report would be unfair to them. The bench held that placing reliance on PSC reports in court proceedings does not violate the parliamentary privileges under Article 145(3) of the Constitution. Further, the court referred to Section 57(4)[44] of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, which permits the judiciary to take notice of parliamentary proceedings. Cautioning that parties while relying on the PSC report either for tracing the history or an event, cannot question or impeach the report, the court held that “the Parliamentary privilege, that it shall not be impeached or questioned outside the Parliament shall equally apply both to a party who files claim in the court and other who objects to it.” The respondents contended that PSC reports have made negative comments on their functioning. If the report is accepted as evidence, they will have to counter the report, which they argued would fall under contempt of the House of Parliament. Refuting this view, the court opined that,

“No party is precluded in making fair comments on the Parliamentary Committee Report which comments remain within the bounds of fair comments and does not transgress the limits prescribed for fair comments.”

The Court ruled that fair comments on the PSC report are fully protected under the rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a). Notifying that parties while depending on the PSC report, either for tracing the history or an event, cannot question or indict the report, the court held that

“the Parliamentary privilege, that it shall not be impeached or questioned outside the Parliament shall equally apply both to a party who files a claim in the court and other who objects to it.”[45] 

This case set an outline for the approach by courts.

Parliamentary Privileges Around the World

Although the topic is centred on India, a global outlook would help with making a comparison to the extent of the privileges in India. Recently, a Kenyan MP was accused of misusing her privileges[46]. She was accused of coercing parliament staff in order to get information which she later leaked to the public which was acting on the House rules and regulations. This case was handled by the House itself, similar to India.

But the United States has a different approach. The US Congress does not enjoy any such power. A case of contempt of the House is tried by the courts under ordinary law, but that does not obstruct the Congress in its smooth functioning. This instance counters the main rationale behind having such powers in the first place[47].

Further, although the United Kingdom’s House of Commons is treated as a Court of Law, it treats its powers of contempt as something which is used in the most serious cases. Even then, the exercise of the powers does not exceed admonition, contrary to the hue and cry created in the Keshav Singh[48] case, where the House went to the extent of issuing warrants against High Court judges.

All these instances just further the case for codification of the privileges, as strongly pleaded by Justice Subbarao in the Searchlight I[49] case.

The Need for Codification of Parliamentary Privileges

It is clearly stated in Articles 105(3) and 194(3) of the Constitution that the Parliament has the powers, privileges, and immunities of each House of the Parliament and of the members and committees thereof, which parliament can define by its law. These powers and privileges are also defined in Seventh Schedule, List I (Union List) Entry 74 for Union Parliament and same in List II (State List) Entry 39 for States Legislatures. But no comprehensive law has been enacted by the Parliament so far. The powers, privileges, and immunities are enumerated in the above mentioned Articles and Schedule clearly stating that there should be codification of these privileges, and also showing the intention of the Fathers of the Constitution that while inserting these provisions in respective Union and State Lists, they kept in mind the codification of these privileges and adopted these measures as momentary. In the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Rajendra Prasad[50] said;

“The Parliament will define the powers and privileges, but until the Parliament has undertaken the legislation and passed it, the privileges and powers of the House of Commons will apply. So, it is only a temporary affair.”

The National Commission for review of the Constitution recommended that while keeping in mind the present scenario of Parliament where every alternate day, a question is raised regarding the kind of immunities a member has for doing his or her work. So, it is not possible to run the Parliament the same way as it was in 1950. Thus, the time has come to codify the powers, privileges, and immunities provided for proper functioning and working of the Parliament[51]. The committee’s recommendation was to limit and define the raising wings of the Parliamentarians, which are hell-bent on demolishing various fundamental rights of ordinary citizens and abusing the privileges to satisfy their purpose. The motive could be to set the exact and defining limits of the immunities and privileges, so when any member tries to or crosses those limitations, a strict penal action could be taken against the said member(s). But at present where there are no restrictions and codes to sojourn the parliamentarians, they are trying to build their own privileges according to their convenience and needs. The 11th report of the Committee on Privileges in the 14th Lok Sabha in the matter of ‘Parliamentary Privileges – Codification and Related Matters’ clearly stated that by taking the majority view, i.e. of those who responded to the questionnaire of the committee, it did not favour the codification of Parliamentary Privileges[52]. The obvious reason for not codifying the privileges is fear in the minds of the members that when the codification of privileges will be done, it will prevent any contradiction or violation of any fundamental rights of ordinary citizens which are laid down in Part III of Constitution. Additionally, Article 13 says that any law which violates fundamental rights can be declared null and void. This will result in making their situation worse when it comes to enforcing privileges. Additionally, when the privileges will be codified, the Supreme Court can step in the judicial interpretation of the law, which will restrict their power and immunities considerably by subjecting the privileges under the purview of the judiciary[53]. This will lead to interference in the Power of Parliament, which will ultimately affect the proper and smooth working of parliament.

The contention of the respondent, i.e. Punjab government in the Amrinder Singh case[54] was that it would not be correct to place restrictions on ‘powers, privileges and immunities’ conferred on the State Legislature under Article 194(3) of the Constitution since they have not been codified. This contention evidently reflects the intention of the House member that till the time there is no codification, there should be use of the privileges however they want, as there is no limit to which they have to use or abuse these privileges for satisfying their need of power in quenching  their political and economic means.

Conclusion & Suggestions

It is clear that Indian Constitution has given astonishing Privileges to the House, to its members and to the committees, for simplifying the working process of the House with dignity, authority and independence. A Parliamentarian has an immense duty to make laws carefully which is beneficial for the public in general, so that it does not violate the rights of the people. As of first to third Lok Sabha, i.e. from 1952 to 1967, an average days House in session was 600 days and 3700 hours, while comparing it to the 15th Lok Sabha which has considerably decreased to only 335 days and 1329 hours. Similarly, the first Lok Sabha spent 49% of its time on debating legislations, which in 15th Lok Sabha dropped to 23% of its time debating legislations[55]. This clearly shows that the members are using their powers and privileges to make use of the taxes paid by the public for purposes other than they are meant to. As the old saying goes, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, so it is the duty of the Parliament not to use these privileges for any improper or immoral way. As we know that assemblies and the Parliament never discharge any judicial functions and do not support any claims as a court of record in any sense, therefore for making bona fide use of the Parliamentary Privileges, the codification of such privileges is necessary to keep a check on the proper use of privileges.

There are many Power, Privileges and Immunities conferred to the Parliament, legislatures and to its members. As stated above these privileges are for the smooth function of parliament and to maintain the dignity, fraternity and respect of the Parliament. There have been numerous occurrences where committees, Commissions, and cases have given clues to codify these privileges, either directly or indirectly and the basic reason to recommend codification is the improper use and abuse of these privileges, to further their own agenda of growth and politics. Frequently, the Speaker faces problems in controlling the House as there are many individuals which make hue and cry and create chaos in the House regarding differing opinions of members. The core reason behind giving the privileges is the proper functioning of house but currently, the actions of the parliamentarians are indifferent to the privilege, as they use it to openly abuse each other, make racket to bar other members in raising his or her views, throwing chairs and microphones, tearing paper of Bills from other members’ hands etc. Such instances counter the provisions and purpose of giving such privileges[56]. This abuse of parliamentary privileges can be stopped or at least curbed by codifying it as done by many countries like Australia, Canada, the USA, and New Zealand. As defined in Article 50 of the Constitution, there should be a separation of power between the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive. But in the matter of privileges, one sees that the Parliament has given powers and privileges to its own, therefore it is necessary for the Judiciary to step in and stop this abuse of privileges and individuals’ fundamental rights. The court has opined that as the Indian Parliament is different from the British House of Common therefore, all privileges which is propagated in House of Common cannot be used in Indian Parliamentary scenario[57].

Therefore, it is the need of the hour, to control the borderline-hooligan acts of the members of the Parliament, to make some rules and regulation for the conduction and usage of powers, privileges and immunities for Parliament and State Legislatures, which could also define the limit and extent till which the Parliamentary Privileges are to be used.

[1]Government of India Act, 1919, § 24(7), No. (9 & 10 Geo. 5 c. 101), Acts of Parliament, 1919 (UK).

[2] India Const. art. 105.

[3] India Const. art.194.

[4] Rajya Sabha, Privileges, Rajya Sabha (Mar. 30, 1993),
https://rajyasabha.nic.in/rsnew/practice_procedure/privileges.pdf.

[5] Raja Ram Pal v. Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha & Ors, AIR 2007 SC (Supp) 1448.

[6]India Const, art. 105 cl. 3, amended by The Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1978.

[7] A G Noorani, Who is to Judge the Misuse of Parliamentary Privilege?, Deccan Chronicle (Nov. 25, 2019, 02:00 am), https://www.deccanchronicle.com/opinion/columnists/251119/who-is-to-judge-the-misuse-of-parliamentary-privilege.html.

[8] India Const. art. 105, cl. 2.

[9] India Const. art. 122, cl. 1.

[10] India Const. art. 361A.

[11] India Const. art. 361A, cl. 1, proviso.

[12] Surendra Mohanty v. Nabakrishna Chodhury, AIR 1958 Ori 168.

[13] India Const. art. 121.

[14] Pandit M. S. M. Sharma v. Shri Krishna Sinha, AIR 1959 SC 395.

[15] P. V. Narsimha Rao v. State, AIR 1998 SC 2120.

[16] 1 National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, Report of the NCRWC, 5.15.6 (Ministry of Law & Justice, 2002).

[17] AIR 2007 SC (Supp) 1448.

[18] Kamal Rana, Parliamentary Privileges and Immunities in Indian Constitution, Important India (Sept. 22, 2014), http://www.importantindia.com/12240/parliamentary-privileges-and-immunities-in-indian-constitution/.

[19] K. Anandan Nambiar v. Chief Secretary, Government of Madras, AIR 1966 SC 657.

[20] Subhash C. Kashyap, Our Parliament-Parliamentary Privileges 244 (National Book Trust, 1989)

[21] V S Rama Devi et al., Rajya Sabha at Work 267 (3rd ed. 2017).

[22] In Re: Pillalamarri Venkateswarlu v. The District Magistrate & Ors, AIR 1965 Mad. 269.

[23] AIR 1966 SC 657.

[24] Harendra Nath Barua v. Devkant Barua & Ors, AIR 1958 Assam 160.

[25] Amrinder Singh v. Spl. Committee, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, (2010) 6 SCC 113.

[26] J. Balaji et al., MPs make it a day of shame for Parliament, The Hindu (May. 18, 2016, 08:08 am), http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mps-make-it-a-day-of-shame-for-parliament/Art.5684327.ece.

[27] Homi D. Mistry v. Nafisul Hassan, ILR 1957, Bombay 218.

[28] Preeti Singh, Parliamentary Privileges, Academike (Aug. 12 ,2014), http://www.lawctopus.com/academike/parliamentary-privileges/.

[29] Hardwari Lal v. Election Commission of India, ILR (1977) 2 Punj&Har 269.

[30] Yeshwant Rao Maghavale v. Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly, AIR 1967 MP 95.

[31] AIR 2007 SC (Supp) 1448.

[32] (2010) 6 SCC 113.

[33] AIR 2007 SC (Supp) 1448.

[34] AIR 1966 SC 657.

[35] India Const. art. 143, cl. 1.

[36] Keshav Singh v. Speaker, Legislative Assembly, AIR 1965 SC 745.

[37] India Const. art. 194, cl. 3.

[38] AIR 1965 SC 745.

[39] Subhash, supra note 20, at 256.

[40] Escorts Ltd. and Anr v. Union of India and Ors, 1985 57 CompCas 241 Bom.

[41] Rama Devi et al., supra note 21, at 304.

[42] AIR 2007 SC (Supp) 1448.

[43] Subhash, supra note 20, at 259.

[44] Indian Evidence Act, 1872, §57(4), No. 1, Acts of Imperial Legislative Council, 1872, (British India).

[45] (2018) 7 SCC 1.

[46] Joyline Chebet, Stormy Session as MPs Clash Over Fate of Fatuma Gedi, Hivisasa (Jan. 2020), https://hivisasa.com/posts/39329919-fate-of-fatuma-gedi

[47] M. P. Jain, Indian Constitutional Law 114 (8th ed. 2018).

[48] AIR 1965 All 349.

[49] Pandit M. S. M. Sharma v. Shri Sri Krishna Sinha And Others, 1959 AIR 395.

[50] M. R. Madhavan, Questions of Privilege, The Indian Express (Sept. 11, 2011, 2:13 am), https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/questions-of-privilege/.

[51] (1998) 4 SCC 626.

[52] Committee of Privileges, Eleventh Report 9-10, (Lok Sabha Secretariat, 2007).

[53] Justice P.K. Bala Subramanyan, Parliamentary Privilege: Complementary Role of the Institutions, Eastern Book Corporation (2006) 2 SCC (Jour) 1, https://www.ebc-india.com/lawyer/articles/2006_2_1.htm.

[54] (2010) 6 SCC 113.

[55] PRS Legislative Research, Rethinking the Functioning of the Indian Parliament, PRS India (Dec. 7, 2013), http://www.prsindia.org/uploads/media/Conference%20note/Functioning%20of%20the%20Indian%20Parliament.pdf.

[56] Top five brawls in our state assemblies and the Rajya Sabha, (Feb. 13, 2014, 4:45 pm), https://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/top-five-brawls-state-assemblies-rajya-sabha/.

[57] AIR 1958 Assam 160.

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