Parliamentary privileges don’t extend to President!

Q.  Which is/are true?
- Published on 03 Mar 17

a. Parliamentary privileges do not extend to Attorney General
b. Parliamentary privileges extend to President
c. Freedom of speech in Parliament is a collective privilege
d. All of the above

ANSWER: Freedom of speech in Parliament is a collective privilege
  • Parliamentary privileges are special rights, immunities and exemptions enjoyed by the two Houses of Parliament, their committees and their members.

  • They are necessary in order to secure the independence and effectiveness of their actions.

  • Without these privileges, the Houses can neither maintain their authority, dignity nor honor nor can protect their members from any obstruction in the discharge of their parliamentary responsibilities.

  • The Constitution has also extended the parliamentary privileges to those persons who are entitled to speak and take part in the proceedings of a House of Parliament or any of its committees.

  • These include the attorney general of India and Union ministers.

  • must be clarified here that the parliamentary privileges do not extend to the president who is also an integral part of the Parliament.

  • Parliamentary privileges can be classified into two broad categories -

    Collective Privileges i.e., belonging to each House of Parliament collectively are -

    1. In have the right to publish its reports, debates and proceedings and also the right to prohibit others from publishing the same.

    2. The 44th Amendment Act of 1978 restored the freedom of the press to publish true reports of parliamentary proceedings without prior permission of the House. But this above is not applicable in the case of a secret sitting of the House.

    3. It can exclude strangers from its proceedings and hold secret sittings to discuss some important matters.

    4. It can make rules to regulate its own procedure and the conduct of its business and to adjudicate upon such matters.

    5. It can punish members as well as outsiders for breach of its privileges or its contempt by reprimand, admonition or imprisonment (also suspension or expulsion, in case of members).

    6. It has the right to receive immediate information of the arrest, detention, conviction, imprisonment and release of a member.

    7. It can institute inquiries and order the attendance of witnesses and send for relevant paper sand records.

    8. The courts are prohibited to inquire into the proceedings of a House or its committees.

    9. No person (either a member or outsider) can be arrested, and no legal process (civil or criminal) can be served within the precincts of the House without the permission of the presiding officer.

    Individual Privileges i.e., belonging to the members individually are -

    1. They cannot be arrested during the session of Parliament and 40 days before the beginning and 40 days after the end of a session.

    2. This privilege is available only in civil cases and not in criminal cases or preventive detention cases.

    3. They have freedom of speech in Parliament.

    4. No member is liable to any proceedings in any court for anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or its committees.

    5. These freedoms subject to the provisions of the Constitution and to the rules and standing orders regulating the procedure of Parliament.

    6. They are exempted from jury service. They can refuse to give evidence and appear as witness in a case pending in a court when Parliament is in session.

Post your comment / Share knowledge

Enter the code shown above:
(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above image, reload the page to generate a new one.)