SUSPENSION OF MPs
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Context: The suspension of 78 Opposition MPs in a single day is a significant event in the Indian Parliament, and it highlights the ongoing challenges in maintaining order and decorum during legislative sessions.
Why were the MPs suspended?
- The MPs were suspended for disrupting Parliamentary proceedings during protests related to a security breach in the Parliament.
- In the Lok Sabha, the Opposition demanded a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah, waved placards, and some even climbed onto the Speaker’s podium.
- In the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition raised slogans on the security breach, leading to disruptions.
Disruptions in Parliament can be attributed to various reasons:
- Lack of time: MPs may feel they have insufficient time to address important matters.
- Unresponsive government: When the government is perceived as unresponsive, MPs may resort to disruptive tactics.
- Political or publicity purposes: Some disruptions are deliberate and driven by parties seeking political or publicity gains.
- Absence of prompt action: If there's a perception that disruptive MPs face no consequences, it can encourage such behaviour.
Who can suspend MPs? How?
- The Presiding Officer (Speaker in Lok Sabha, Chairman in Rajya Sabha) plays a crucial role in meting out suspensions.
- The process involves directing the MP to withdraw, naming the legislator if disruptions persist, and then moving a motion to suspend the MP until the end of the session.
- In 2001, the Lok Sabha empowered the Speaker to automatically suspend an MP for five days or the remaining part of the session without the need for a separate motion. However, this provision is not present in the Rajya Sabha.
How long can MPs be suspended for?
- MPs can be suspended for the remainder of the session, with a maximum period of five days (in Lok Sabha). The House can reinstate a suspended member at any point by passing a motion.
Is suspending MPs common practice?
- While it is not uncommon, the number of suspensions has increased in recent years. Since 2019, at least 149 suspensions have occurred, compared to 81 in 2014-19 and 36 in 2009-14.
- Disruptions in Parliament have been a long-standing issue, and efforts have been made to address the root causes.
Challenges in maintaining order
- Maintaining a balance between enforcing order and respecting democratic values is a challenge for Presiding Officers.
- Disruptions arising from frustration or planned parliamentary offences require different approaches, and finding long-term solutions is crucial for the smooth functioning of Parliament.
- The suspension of MPs is a measure taken to address disruptions, but it also reflects broader challenges in the functioning of the Indian Parliament, including issues related to representation, responsiveness, and the need for procedural reforms.
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SUSPENSION OF MPs IN INDIA: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/suspension-of-mps-in-india
Q. What are the key challenges faced by parliamentary democracy in India, particularly concerning disruptions, suspension of MPs, and maintaining effective legislative proceedings?