MPs not immune from arrest in criminal cases during session: Venkaiah Naidu
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu (Photo: PTI)
New Delhi: Two bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha, including an Act to expand the scope of anti-competitive agreements and introduce a settlement and undertaking framework to reduce litigation. Opposition members adjourned both houses of Parliament over issues like price rise and unemployment.
Rajya Sabha President M. Venkaiah Naidu explained in the House on Friday that “MPs shall not enjoy any immunity from arrest in criminal cases during session or otherwise”. The Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and the New Delhi Center for International Arbitration (Amendment) Bill, 2022 were introduced in the Lok Sabha. It provides changes in certain definitions such as “entity”, “relevant product market”, “group”, “control” to provide clarity.
It also provides for the appointment of a Director General by the Commission with the prior approval of the Central Government and introduction of a settlement and commitment framework to reduce cases. The Center for International Arbitration (Amendment) Bill, 2022 seeks to change the name of the Center for International Arbitration, New Delhi.
The bill also provides for changing the name of the Indian Center for International Arbitration from the New Delhi Center for International Arbitration. A debate was held in the Lok Sabha on the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022. Congress MPs wore black as part of the nationwide protest. Against inflation and unemployment.
Congress leaders wore vegetable garlands and staged a protest against the central government in the Parliament complex to protest against the rise in prices. In the Rajya Sabha, Naidu said that Members of Parliament (MPs) are “in no different position than an ordinACHI citizen” in criminal matters.
“It means that a Member of Parliament does not enjoy any immunity from arrest in a criminal case or otherwise,” Naidu noted. Naidu’s observation came a day after Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge questioned in the House that he was summoned while the Enforcement Directorate was in session.
Looking at what has happened in the last few days, I would like to clarify one thing that “there is a misconception among members that they are privileged to take action through agencies while the session is in progress”.
“I gave it a serious thought. I examined all the precedents, and I remembered my own judgment which had been given before.
Also Read: Congress protest in black against Ram temple News: Amit Shah
Under Article 105 of the Constitution, Members of Parliament enjoy certain privileges so that they can perform their parliamentACHI duties without sanction or hindrance. One of the concessions is that a Member of Parliament cannot be arrested in a civil case 40 days before the commencement of a session or committee meeting and 40 days thereafter,” the chairman said.
This privilege is already incorporated under Section 135A of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Naidu said. Noting that there are many judgments of the Chief Executives, the Speaker drew the attention of the House to a judgment delivered by Dr. Zakir Hussain in 1966 which stated that “Members of Parliament enjoy certain privileges so that they can discharge their duties”.
“It is such a privilege to be free from arrest when Parliament is in session. This privilege of freedom from arrest is limited to civil cases only and is not allowed to interfere with the administration of criminal proceedings,” he said.
Also Read: US, Australia Among 6 Countries Interested in Tejas Aircraft: Center