RESTORATION OF MP STATUS
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Context: Recently the Lok Sabha membership of a disqualified Member was reinstated by the Lok Sabha Secretariat. The decision came after the Supreme Court put his conviction in a criminal defamation case on hold. Earlier he was disqualified after the session court judgment in a criminal defamation case.
- As a Member of Parliament, he will get back his salary of ₹1 lakh per month for the duration of his term. He will also get an extra Rs 2,000 for each day that he attends Parliament.
- As an MP, he will also get a travel allowance, which covers free railway travel. Other benefits include medical facilities for the MP and their family, housing, phone, water, and electricity.
- The Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament Act 1954 outline the various benefits that an MP can enjoy.
- According to the Housing and Telephone Facilities (Members of Parliament) Rules, 1956: “Each Member shall be entitled without payment of a licence fee] to housing accommodation in the form of a flat throughout his term of office: Provided that where a member is allotted housing accommodation in the form of a bungalow at his request, he shall pay a full normal licence fee if he is entitled to such accommodation.”
- The MP was convicted of defamation by a lower court in Surat for his remarks against the Prime Minister, which is now pending before the Appellate Court. The Supreme Court has granted him temporary relief by staying his conviction and sentence until the appeal is decided. This means that he can continue to enjoy his political rights and privileges, such as contesting elections, without any hindrance. However, this does not mean that he is acquitted of the charges.
- The Appellate Court will examine the evidence and arguments of both sides and pronounce its verdict in due course of time. If the Appellate Court upholds the conviction, the MP will have to face the consequences as per the law.
Process of restoration of membership of an MP
- The process of restoration of membership of an MP in India depends on the circumstances that led to the disqualification or suspension of the MP.
- According to the Representation of the People Act, 1951, an MP can be disqualified if he or she is convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years, or if he or she holds an office of profit, or if he or she is found guilty of corrupt practices or electoral offences, or if he or she incurs any disqualification under the Constitution or any other law.
- However, if the conviction or sentence is stayed or suspended by a higher court, the MP can be restored to his or her membership by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha or the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, as the case may be.
- The MP or his or her representative has to show a copy of the order of the higher court to the Secretariat of the House, which will then issue a notification revoking the disqualification. The MP can then resume his or her parliamentary duties and privileges.
Must Read Articles:
DISQUALIFICATION OF MP: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/disqualification-of-mp
DISQUALIFICATION OF LEGISLATORS: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/disqualification-of-legislators
Q. Explain the process of disqualification for Members of Parliament (MPs) in India, highlighting the challenges that hinder its effectiveness. Subsequently, propose viable strategies to overcome these challenges and enhance the disqualification system for maintaining the integrity of parliamentary representation.