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Tags Current Affairs

Breach of Legislature privilege

Date: 11 September 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A motion for breach of privilege was moved in the Maharashtra Assembly against Republic TV’s Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.

 

Details

  • The powers, privileges, and immunities of either House of the Indian Parliament and of its Members and committees are laid down in Article 105 of the Constitution.

  • Article 194 deals with the powers, privileges, and immunities of the State Legislatures, their Members, and their committees.

  • Parliamentary privilege refers to the right and immunity enjoyed by legislatures, in which legislators are granted protection against civil or criminal liability for actions done or statements made in the course of their legislative duties.

  • While the Constitution has accorded special privileges and powers to parliamentarians and legislators to maintain the dignity and authority of the Houses, these powers and privileges are not codified.

  • Any act that obstructs or impedes either House of the state legislature in performing its functions, or which obstructs or impedes any Member or officer of such House in the discharge of his duty, or has a tendency, directly or indirectly, to produce such results is treated as breach of privilege.

  • It is a breach of privilege and contempt of the House to make speeches or to print or publish libel reflecting on the character or proceedings of the House, or its Committees, or on any member of the House for or relating to his character or conduct as a legislator.

  • The Legislative Assembly Speaker or Legislative Council Chairman constitutes a Privileges Committee consisting of 15 members in the Assembly and 11 members in the Council.

  • The Committee will examine whether statements made by him had insulted the state legislature and its Members, and whether their image was maligned before the public.

  • If the Committee finds the offender guilty of breach of privilege and contempt, it can recommend the punishment.

  • The punishment can include communicating the displeasure of the state legislature to the offender, summoning the offender before the House and giving a warning, and even sending the offender to jail.

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