SUSPENSION OF MPs IN INDIA
27th July, 2022 POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
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- Recently 19 Opposition members were suspended from the Rajya Sabha for a week.
Reason for suspending an MP
- It is the role and duty of the Presiding Officer; Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairman of Rajya Sabha to maintain order in the House to ensure smooth functioning of the house.
- In order to ensure that proceedings are conducted in the proper manner, the Speaker/ Chairman is empowered to force a Member to withdraw from the House.
- The MPs were suspended for “unruly behaviour”.
Rules under which the Presiding Officer acts
- Rule Number 373 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business says: “The Speaker, if he believes that the conduct of any Member is grossly disorderly, may direct such Member to withdraw immediately from the House, and any Member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall remain absent during the remainder of the day’s sitting.”
- Rule 374 says: The Speaker may name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business thereof.
- Like the Speaker in Lok Sabha, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha is empowered under Rule Number 255 of its Rule Book to “direct any Member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately” from the House.
- Under Rule 256, the Chairman may “name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the Council by persistently and wilfully obstructing” business.
- In such a situation, the House may adopt a motion suspending the Member from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session.
- The House may, by another motion, terminate the suspension.
- Every instance of suspension of an MP triggers strong statements on both sides. It is generally agreed that a balance has to be struck and that the solution to unruly behaviour has to be long-term and consistent with democratic values.