Privilege motion


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    A breach of privilege motion moved against senior BJP MLA and Deputy Leader of the Opposition Rajendra Rathore led to an uproar in the Rajasthan Assembly.

    About Privilege motion

    • All Members of Parliament (MPs) enjoy rights and immunities, individually and collectively, so that they can discharge their duties and functions effectively.
    •  Any instance when these rights and immunities are disregarded by any member of Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha is an offence, called ‘breach of privilege’, which is punishable under the Laws of Parliament.
    • Any member from either house can move a notice in the form of a motion against the member who he/she thinks is guilty of the breach of privilege. 
    • Both Houses of Parliament reserve the right to punish any act of contempt (not necessarily breach of privilege) that is against its authority and dignity, as per the laws.

    the rules governing privilege

    • Rule No 222 in Chapter 20 of the Lok Sabha Rule Book and correspondingly Rule 187 in Chapter 16 of the Rajya Sabha rulebook governs privilege. 
    • It says that a member may, with the consent of the Speaker or the Chairperson, raise a question involving a breach of privilege either of a member or of the House or of a committee thereof.
    •  The rules however mandate that any notice should be relating to an incident of recent occurrence and should need the intervention of the House. 

    the 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 under Rule 222, the member concerned is given an opportunity to make a short statement.

    Source: TH