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Rules for Suspension of MPs

Why is it in the news?

  • In a significant development, 78 Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have faced suspension due to their involvement in disrupting parliamentary proceedings.

 More about the news

  • The Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairman of Rajya Sabha are responsible for maintaining order during parliamentary proceedings.
  • In Lok Sabha, they act in accordance with Rules 373, 374, and 374A; in Rajya Sabha, Rules 255 and 256 guide their actions.

1) Disorderly Conduct

  • Rule 373 (Lok Sabha) and Rule 255 (Rajya Sabha) empower presiding officers to intervene when an MP engages in disorderly conduct.
  • Disorderly conduct includes actions that disrupt the normal functioning of the House, such as shouting, unruly behaviour, or any act that hinders the proceedings.

2) Naming the Legislator

  • If disorderly conduct persists, Rule 374 (Lok Sabha) and Rule 256 (Rajya Sabha) allow the presiding officer to “name” the legislator responsible.
  • “Naming” involves publicly identifying the disruptive MP, signalling a more serious phase of disciplinary action.

3) Rule 374A (Lok Sabha)

  • Rule 374A, incorporated in 2001 in Lok Sabha, is designed to address grave and disorderly conduct.
  • If an MP is “named” under this rule by the Speaker, the MP automatically stands suspended for a specific duration (five days or the remaining part of the session)
  • This rule streamlines the process by eliminating the need for the House to pass a separate motion for suspension. This provision is unique to Lok Sabha; Rajya Sabha does not have an equivalent rule.

4) Duration of Suspension

  • MPs can be suspended for a maximum of the remaining part of the session.
  • This serves as a measure to restore order without permanently excluding a member from participating in parliamentary affairs.
  • However, the House retains the authority to reinstate a suspended member at any point during the session. Reinstatement typically involves the passage of a motion by the House to lift the suspension, allowing the MP to resume their duties.

5) Court Intervention

  • Article 122 of the Constitution prohibits the questioning of parliamentary proceedings before a court.
  • Despite this constitutional provision, there have been instances where courts have intervened, particularly in cases where the procedural functioning of legislatures is seen to be in violation of constitutional principles or fundamental rights.

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