IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


9th February, 2023 POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

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  • Some Portions of the opposition leader’s speech delivered in Lok Sabha have been expunged or removed from the Parliament records by the orders of the Speaker.
  • The expunging of certain words, sentences, or portions of a speech from the Parliament records is a fairly routine exercise and is carried out under parliamentary rules.
    • The decision on which part of the speech or proceedings of the house is to be expunged lies with the Presiding Officer of the House.

Rules on expunging from the Parliamentary record

  • The Indian Constitution under Article 105(2) mentioned that “no Member of Parliament shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said…in Parliament or any committee thereof”.
    • However, MPs don’t enjoy the freedom to say whatever they want inside the parliament.
  • The speeches of MPs are subject to the discipline of the Rules of Parliamentary proceedings, and the control of the proceedings by the lok sabha Speaker.
    • These checks are necessary to ensure that MPs cannot use “defamatory or indecent or undignified or unparliamentary words” inside the House.
  • Rule 380 (“Expunction”) of the Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha says: “If the Speaker is of opinion that words have been used in the debate are defamatory or indecent or unparliamentary or undignified, the Speaker may order that such words be expunged from the proceedings of the House records.

Unparliamentary expressions:

  • Unparliamentary Words are phrases and words, both in English and in Indian languages, which are considered “unparliamentary”.
  • The Presiding Officers; the Speaker of Lok Sabha and the Chairperson of Rajya Sabha; are authorised of keeping unparliamentary words out of Parliament’s records.
  • Recently the lok Sabha secretariat released a booklet of more than 50 pages of words considered unfit for being used in Parliament.
    • The list includes words and phrases that are disallowed in the Indian Parliament, in various state assemblies, and also in the parliaments of many countries.
    • The list also includes the words that have been deleted from the records in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha during the past years.
  • The latest list of Unparliamentry words includes ‘Jumlajeevi’, ‘Baal buddhi’, ‘Covid spreader’, ‘abused’, ‘ashamed’, ‘betrayal’, ‘chamchagiri’, ‘cheated’, ‘Snoopgate’, ‘anarchist’, ‘Shakuni’, ‘corrupt’, ‘corruption’, ‘coward’, ‘criminal’, ‘dictatorial’, ‘taanashah’, ‘tanashahi’, ‘vinash purush’, ‘Khalistani’, ‘dodgy’, ‘drama’, ‘false’, ‘eyewash’, ‘fabrication’, ‘fraud’, ‘gaslighting’, ‘hack’, ‘hooliganism’, ‘hypocrisy’, ‘incompetent’, ‘lie’, ‘lollipops’, ‘mislead’, ‘negligence’, ‘partisan’, ‘racist’, ‘poster-boy’, ‘scandal’, ‘ruthless’, ‘traitor’, ‘witch’. etc.
  • Many expressions have been added to the list including: “You have double standards”; “You have to be fair”; “I curse you” and “Sir, why are you trying to gag my mouth? Don’t try to gag my mouth”.

Way Forward:

  • The Lok Sabha Speaker has clarified that no words or phrases have been banned in Parliament and members have absolute freedom to express their views.
  • The decision to remove a speech or any part of a speech from the house record is taken after the instruction of the Speaker or the Chairman and the government has no role in it.
  • The list is just a set of general guidelines to maintain the dignity of the Parliament