Parliamentary Privileges

Introduction

India is called the world’s largest democratic country. The power to make law exists with the Indian Parliament. The members of lower house of Parliament are elected from the direct election while the members of upper house are elected from the Legislative Assembly of States and Union territories by means of single transferable vote through proportional representation. The concept of parliamentary privilege in the Constitution of India has been taken from British Constitution. Parliamentary privileges are special rights, immunities, exceptions enjoyed by the members of the two houses of Parliament and their committees. The main motive of these privileges is to uphold the supremacy of the offence of the office of the Parliament and its members.

Who Enjoys Parliamentary Privileges

These rights are mainly for the members of both houses of Parliament. Apart from this, these rights are also given to those individuals who speak and participate in any committee of the Parliament, which includes the Attorney General of India and the Union Ministers. President, even if he is a part of Parliament, does not have parliamentary privileges.

Breach of Parliamentary Privileges

If any person or officer violates the individual or collective privileges of a Member of Parliament, such as, disrespect, abuse, attack, etc., such acts are comsidered as breach of Parliamentary Privileges which is punishable by the house.

Thus, the above facts make it clear that Parliamentary Privileges in India have been enforced so that the respect of the Parliament and its members can be ensured.

But it is observed that after winning the elections, these representatives do not respect the public while on the other hand they expect that the public should give them due respect. Apart from this, you may have noticed that the Parliamentarians are often seen misbehaving with the officials and the general public. This is called the misuse of parliamentary privileges.

Therefore, it is the need of the hour that if the government wants to maintain the dignity of the democracy then it should make appropriate changes in the parliamentary privileges because nobody can be superior to the general public.

Conclusion

The privileges are conferred on the members for smooth functioning of the Parliament. But, these rights should always be in conformity with the fundamental rights because they are our representatives and work for our welfare. If the privileges are not in accordance with the fundamental rights then the essence of democracy for the protection of the rights of the citizen will be lost. It is the duty of the Parliament not to violate any other rights which are guaranteed by constitution. The members should also use their privileges wisely and not misuse them. They should always keep in mind that the powers do not make them corrupt. The Parliament cannot adopt every privilege that is present in the house of commons but should adopt only those privileges that accordingly suits our Indian democracy.