Congress MP seeks privilege proceedings against Union Minister

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News:Recently,a Privilege Motion has been moved against the Union Textile Minister in the Lok Sabha.

Facts:

About Privilege Motion:

  • Parliamentary privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively so that they can effectively discharge their functions.
  • When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded,the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament.
  • A notice is moved in the form of a motion by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege. 
  • Each House also claims the right to punish as contempt actions which, while not breach of any specific privilege, are offences against its authority and dignity.

Role of the Speaker/Rajya Sabha Chair:

  • The Speaker/RS chairperson is the first level of scrutiny of a privilege motion. 
  • The Speaker/Chair can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament. 
  • If the Speaker/Chair gives consent, the member concerned is given an opportunity to make a short statement.
  • A large number of notices has also been rejected with penal action recommended in only a few.

About privileges committee:

  • In the Lok Sabha,the Speaker nominates a committee of privileges consisting of 15 members as per respective party strengths. A report is then presented to the House for its consideration. 
  • The Speaker may permit a half-hour debate while considering the report. The Speaker may then pass final orders or direct that the report be tabled before the House. 
  • A resolution may then be moved relating to the breach of privilege that has to be unanimously passed.