Four Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) members in the Rajya Sabha have submitted a Privilege Motion against Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding his February 8 remarks in the Upper House about the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill.
- Prime minister during his Motion of Thanks to the President’s address, had questioned the parliamentary process adopted for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into the States of Telangana and Andhra in 2014, adding that doors were shut, pepper sprays were used and mikes were switched off to pass the legislation.
- Modi’s statement attempts to show the Parliament Houses in the most bad and contemptuous manner, denigrating and demeaning the procedures and proceedings of the House and its functioning.
- It amounted to finding fault with the Members of Parliament and the Presiding Officers for their conduct in the house.
- Even the decision of the Presiding Officer, to close the doors of the House to prevent the spread of disorder or mischief of a handful few Members, is brought under question.
- This amounts to a contempt of the House, raising the issue of its Privilege.
- Parliamentary Privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions”.
- Article 105 of the Constitution expressly mentions two privileges, that is, freedom of speech in Parliament and right of publication of its proceedings.
- Apart from the privileges as specified in the Constitution, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, provides for freedom from arrest and detention of members under civil process during the continuance of the meeting of the House or of a committee thereof and forty days before its commencement and forty days after its conclusion.
- Motion against breaches: 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.