IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


7th December, 2023 Polity


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Picture Courtesy: www.dailyexcelsior.com

Context: The Lok Sabha ethics committee recommends expelling an MP for alleged unethical conduct, including targeting a business for cash and sharing log-in credentials with a businessman.


  • The Special Inquiry Committee of Parliament is a body that has the power to investigate and report on matters of public interest. The committee consists of members from different political parties, who are appointed by the Speaker of the House of Commons.
  • The committee can summon witnesses, request documents, and hold hearings to gather evidence. The committee's findings and recommendations are presented to Parliament and the public in a report.
  • The committee's role is to scrutinize the actions and decisions of the government and to hold them accountable for their impact on the country and its citizens.
  • The committee aims to inform and educate the public about the issues that affect them, and to foster a culture of transparency and democracy.

Ethics Committee

  • Established in 2000 to oversee the moral and ethical conduct of members.
  • Examines cases of 'unethical conduct' referred to it.
  • It can examine complaints filed against members by other members, outsiders through a member, or those referred by the Speaker.
  • Conducts a prima facie inquiry before deciding to examine a complaint.
  • The committee decides whether an act is unethical or not; the term 'unethical' is not explicitly defined.
  • It presents its report to the Speaker, who then places it before the House for consideration.

Privileges Committees

  • Originated in medieval Britain to protect the interests of the House of Commons and its members.
  • The privileges committee or special inquiry committee deals with more serious accusations against a member.
  • Empowered to examine and recommend action for breaches of privileges.

Constitutional Aspect of Expulsion

  • Article 101 of the Constitution lists grounds for vacation of a seat by an MP.
  • Expulsion is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution.
  • Conflicting Supreme Court judgments: In Raja Ram Pal versus Hon’ble Speaker (2007), it upheld Parliament's power to expel members for breach of privilege; however, in Amarinder Singh versus Special Committee, Punjab Vidhan Sabha (2010), the Court held expulsion by the State Assembly as unconstitutional.

Balancing Privileges and Democratic Representation

  • Raises questions about the proportionality of expulsion as a punishment.
  • Expulsion could leave the constituents without a representative until the next elections or a bye-election.
  • Emphasizes the need to preserve the dignity and privilege of the House while ensuring democratic representation is not prejudiced.
  • Suggests the establishment of fast-track courts for a time-bound legal inquiry to balance the privileges of the House and democratic representation.

Legal Proceedings and Recommendations

  • The ethics committee is believed to have recommended legal inquiry.
  • The CBI has registered a preliminary inquiry.
  • Advocates for fast-track courts to conduct trials within a time-bound manner (e.g., 60 days).


  • The situation involving the potential expulsion of an MP touches on the fundamental aspects of parliamentary ethics, constitutional provisions, and the need to maintain democratic representation while upholding the integrity of the House. Balancing these aspects requires a nuanced approach that ensures fairness, justice, and due process.

Must Read Articles:

Parliamentary Committees: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/parliamentary-committees-33

Standing Panels: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/standing-panels

Special Probe Panel: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/special-probe-panel

Ethics Committee: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/ethics-committee

Committee Of Privileges: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/committee-of-privileges#:~:text=The%20Committee%20consists%20of%2015,heads%20the%20committee%20of%20privileges.

Privilege Motion: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/privilege-motion-5


Q. How can the delicate balance between the rights and duties of Members of Parliament (MPs) in a parliamentary system be maintained to ensure effective representation while upholding ethical responsibilities and accountability to the public?