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Suspension of MPs

Topics covered:

  1. Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

 

Suspension of MPs

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: Provisions with regard to suspension of MPs in both the houses of Parliament.
  • For Mains: Concerns over frequent disruptions during proceedings of both the houses and ways to address them.

 

Context: Cracking the whip on unruly MPs, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has suspended 45 Lok Sabha members belonging to the TDP and the AIADMK after they created ruckus in the House and continuously disrupted proceedings for days.

The action was taken under rule 374A of the Lok Sabha which says they cannot attend the remaining days of the session.

 

Provisions in this regard:

Among the tools available to the Speaker for ensuring discipline is the power to force a member to withdraw from the House (for the remaining part of the day), or to place him under suspension.

Rule Number 373 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business states that in case the Speaker is of the opinion that the conduct of any member is “grossly disorderly”, he or she may direct that member to “withdraw immediately from the House”. The member is required to “do so forthwith”, and stay away from the “remainder of the day’s sitting”.

The Speaker may invoke Rule 374A in case of “grave disorder occasioned by a member coming into the well of the House or abusing the Rules of the House, persistently and wilfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or otherwise…”. The member concerned, “on being named by the Speaker, stands automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less”.

While the Speaker is empowered to place a member under suspension, the authority for revocation of this order is not vested in her. It is for the House, if it so desires, to resolve on a motion to revoke the suspension.

 

Similar powers to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha:

Chairman of the 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. “…Any member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall absent himself during the remainder of the day’s meeting.”

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, however, by another motion, terminate the suspension. Unlike the Speaker, the Rajya Sabha Chairman does not have the power to suspend a member.

 

Sources: the hindu.