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No immunity from arrest in criminal cases for MPs

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No immunity from arrest in criminal cases for MPs

Recently, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha has clarified that, during the session, MPs have no immunity from arrest in criminal cases.

  • In the matter of privileges enjoyed by MPs, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha said that, when the House is in session, MPs will not get immunity from arrest in criminal cases.
  • Also, members cannot evade summons issued by law enforcement agencies. Parliamentary privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by the MPs individually and collectively.
  • These privileges have been given to them to discharge their functions effectively. These privileges are also given to those persons who participate and speak in any committee of the Parliament. These include the Attorney General of India and the Union Minister.
  • When any of these privileges and immunities are violated, this breach is called a breach of privilege. Its violation is punishable under the law of Parliament.
  • Privileges have been given to the members of Parliament under Article 105 of the Constitution, and to the members of the State Legislature under Article 194.
  • One of these privileges is that a Member of Parliament cannot be arrested in a civil matter for 40 days before the commencement of the session or meeting of the Committee and for 40 days after the end.
  • The Parliament has so far not enacted any specific law to codify all the privileges in its entirety.

Importance of privileges

  • They protect the freedom of expression of MPs and MLAs. Also, protect them from litigation in any matters that happen in the House.
  • These help in maintaining the authority, dignity and honor of the parliamentarians.
  • Both help in the smooth functioning of the Houses and their members.

Source – The Hindu

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