Breach of Privilege Motion

A privilege motion is moved by a member of parliament (both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha) if he feels that any member or minister has committed a breach of privilege of the House or members of the house.

Key Points for UPSC Prelims

  • The powers, privileges, and immunities of either House of the Indian Parliament and of its Members and their committees are laid down in Article 105 of the Constitution.
  • While, the powers, privileges, and immunities of the State Legislatures, their Members, and their committees are described in Article 194.
  • Under Parliamentary privilege, the legislators are granted protection against criminal or civil liability for statements made by them or actions done by them in the course of performing their legislative duties.
  • The special privileges are granted to maintain the dignity and authority of the Houses. But there are no clear notified rules to decide the breach of privilege.
  • If an act obstructs the legislature or the member of the house in performing its functions, is treated as a breach of privilege.
  • After the motion is passed, the Legislative Assembly Speaker or Legislative Council Chairman constitutes a Privileges Committee, which looks into the motion and recommends the punishment.

Privilege Motions: Maharashtra State Legislature passes proposals

Both the Maharashtra State Legislature Houses have passed proposals that they will not take into account to any notice sent by the High Court or the Supreme Court in the Breach of Privilege motion passed against Arnab Goswami, Republic TV editor, and anchor.

As per the proposals, reacting or replying to such notices can portray giving acceptance that the judiciary can keep a check on the legislature.

What is the matter?

A Breach of Privilege motion was moved in the Maharashtra Assembly by Pratap Sarnaik of Shiv Sena against Arnab Goswami for using derogatory language against CM and NCP president during TV debates.

After this, Goswami approved the Supreme Court against the notice. The court issued a contempt notice to the assistant secretary of the Assembly.

On November 26, the Supreme Court said that it might be “necessary in all probability to serve the Speaker” to know his version in the matter.

After that now both the houses have passed proposals to not to respond to court notices in the breach of privilege motion.

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