Article 105 of Constitution

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    • Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha writes a letter to chairman highlighting privileges of Members of Parliament under Article 105 of the Indian Constitution.

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    • Article 105 of the Indian Constitution provides freedom of speech in Parliament, and exempts members from legal action for anything said or done in the course of their duties.
    • The Constitution, however prohibits discussions in Parliament regarding the conduct of judges of the Supreme Court or of a High Court, except upon a motion for presenting an address to the President praying for the removal of the Judge.
    • The immunity of MPs extends to certain non-members, such as the Attorney General for India or a Minister who may not be a member but speaks in the House.
    • The idea of this privilege of Parliament originated from the Government of India Act, 1935, with references to the powers and privileges enjoyed by the House of Commons in Britain.
    • In the 17th-century case of R vs Elliot, Holles and Valentine, the House of Lords provided immunity to Sir John Elliot, a member of the House of Commons, saying that words spoken in Parliament should only be judged therein.
    • This privilege has also been enshrined in the Bill of Rights 1689 by which the Parliament of England definitively established the principle of a constitutional monarchy.
    • The Supreme Court in its ‘Tej Kiran Jain v N Sanjiva Reddy’ case(1970) ruled that the word “anything” in Article 105 is of the widest import and is equivalent to “everything“.
    • At present, the Speaker or the House itself deal with cases where an MP oversteps or exceeds the contours of admissible free speech, as opposed to the court.

    Source: IE