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Breach Of Privilege

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Breach Of Privilege

Breach Of Privilege

Notice of breach of privilege has been given by BJP MP PP Chowdhary in the Lok Sabha against TMC MP Mahua Moitra for a comment against the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Related Case:

Speaking during the “Motion of Thanks” on the President’s address, MP MahuaMoitra had made some objections regarding the conduct of the judge.So the question is whether on the floor of the House, the conduct of a judge can be discussed or not?Be aware that, in Article 121 of the Constitution, it is prohibited to accuse any current or former judge.

What is the privilege?

The subjects of privilege in the Indian Constitution are derived from the Constitution of England. An MP / MLA, apart from being a public representative, are also a lawmaker. Considering the importance and loyalty of these posts, the Constitution has given them some privileges. The provision of privilege has been made under Article 105 of the Constitution and Section 1 and Section 2 of Article 194.

Constitutional provisions relating to privileges:

  • Under Article 105 of the Constitution, the privileges/immunities enjoyed by the members and committees of the Indian Parliament are mentioned.
  • Article 194 deals with the powers, privileges and immunities of the State Legislatures, their Members and their committees.
  • It is made clear in the Constitution that these are independent provisions.If a House removes a part of a dispute from proceedings, no one will be able to publish that part. And if that happens, it would be considered contempt of Parliament or the Legislature. Doing so is a punishable offense. In this circumstance, the basic right to freedom of speech under Article 19 (a) will not be argued.
  • However, the Supreme Court later clarified that, even though the privilege cases are free from the shackles of Article 19 (a), they will be considered under Article 20-22 and Article 32.
How Breach of Privilege starts?

Rule 222:

Under Rule 222 of the LokSabha, any member may raise any question with the permission of the Speaker, in which he feels that the privilege of a member or the assembly or committee has been violated.

What is ‘breach of privilege’?
  • Generally any act which, directly or indirectly, obstructs or impedes the work of a House of Parliament, or obstructs the discharge of the duties of a member or officer of Parliament, is considered as a breach of privilege.
  • Speeches objecting to the House, its committees or members, questioning its impartiality or character in observance of the duties of the Speaker, condemning the conduct of members in the House, false publication of the proceedings of the House, etc., will be considered as a violation / contempt of the privileges of the House.
  • A Privileges Committee is constituted by the Speaker or Chairman of the House, which consists of 15 members in the lower house and 11 members in the upper house.
  • Members of the committee are nominated based on the number of parties in the House.
  • The first decision is taken by the Speaker or Chairman. Prima facie, in case of breach of privilege or contempt, the case is referred to the Committee of Privileges by following the procedure laid down by the Speaker or the Chairman.
  • The committee will examine the contempt of the state legislature and its members and the effect on the image in front of the public, from the statements made by the accused person.
  • The committee enjoys quasi-judicial powers and can seek clarification from all concerned, and after conducting the test, and On the basis of its findings after investigation, it can make a recommendation before the legislature on the subjects to be considered.


Source – The Hindu

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