Suspension of 14 MPs revoked; RS panel holds 11 MPs guilty of breach of privilege

The MPs were suspended during the last session and their cases were referred to the respective committees of privileges.


Published Jan 31, 2024 | 12:46 PMUpdatedJan 31, 2024 | 12:46 PM

Winter session: Lok Sabha chamber of the new Parliament building. (Creative Commons)

A day before the start of the Budget session, the chairs of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on Monday, 29 January, revoked the suspension of 14 opposition MPs, allowing them to attend House proceedings, sources said.

The MPs— 11 of the Rajya Sabha and three of the Lok Sabha— were suspended during the last session and their cases were referred to the respective committees of privileges.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the Rajya Sabha chairman and the Lok Sabha speaker have agreed to the government’s request to revoke the suspension of the 14 MPs.

Also Read: Opposition MPs protest against suspension of MPs

Privileges Committee of LS

The Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha had recommended that the suspension of the three MPs— Abdul Khaleque, K Jayakumar and Vijay Vasanth of the Congress— be revoked after they expressed regret for their conduct during the Winter session when their relentless protests prompted the Chair to take action.

The Privileges Committee of the Rajya Sabha held the 11 suspended opposition MPs guilty of breach of privilege and contempt of the Council of States, but Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar revoked their suspension allowing them to attend the Budget session, sources said.

In its report to the Rajya Sabha chairman a day before the session starts on Wednesday, 31 January, the committee also recommended that the period of suspension already suffered by the members be treated as “sufficient punishment” for the transgression.

The MPs held “guilty of breach of privilege and contempt of the Council” of States are Jebi Mather Hisham, L Hanumanthaiah, Neeraj Dangi, Rajmani Patel, Kumar Ketkar, GC Chandrashekhar, Binoy Viswam, Sandosh Kumar P, M Mohamed Abdulla, John Brittas and AA Rahim.

The committee presented the report to Dhankhar, taking note of the situation that the suspended members would not be able to attend the special address of President Droupadi Murmu to both Houses of Parliament, the first address in the new building of Parliament, on Wednesday.

The committee usually submits its recommendations to the House.

The sources said the chairman invoked the authority vested in him under the rules of procedure to revoke their suspension enabling the members to attend the special address by the president.

Also Read: Suspending 146 MPs means suspending 70% of population: Rahul Gandhi

MPs suspension

While a total of 146 opposition MPs, including 100 of the Lok Sabha, were suspended for bringing placards into the chambers and frequently disrupting parliamentary proceedings, the transgressions by these 14 were considered more serious.

The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha had together suspended 132 MPs for the remainder of the Winter session, which ended on December 21, and had referred the case of these 14 MPs to the respective privilege committee.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Joshi told reporters on Tuesday, “Everybody’s suspension will be withdrawn. We have requested the (Lok Sabha) speaker and the (Rajya Sabha) chairperson on behalf of the government and they have agreed.”

He, however, asserted that leaders of different parties who attended an all-party meeting ahead of the session were told that they should follow the decision that MPs should not bring placards or similar materials inside chambers during the session or else the Chairs will be forced to take action.

Some of the suspended Lok Sabha MPs were informed about the speaker’s decision on Tuesday, 30 January.

The Budget session commenced on Wednesday.

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