Constitutional Privilege of MPs

Constitutional Privilege of MPs

News: Mallikarjun Kharge, prominent Congress leader, raised an issue in the house that he was summoned by the ED when the session was on.

What observations were made by the Chairman?
• Rajya Sabha Chairman clarified in the House that “MPs do not enjoy any immunity from being arrested in a criminal case during the Session or otherwise”.
• In criminal matters, Members of Parliament (MPs) are “not on a different footing than a common citizen”. Constitutional provision in context of the news:
• Under Article 105 of the Constitution, MPs enjoy certain privileges so that they can perform their parliamentary duties without any hindrance.
• One of the privileges is that a member of Parliament cannot be arrested in a civil case, 40 days before the commencement of the Session or Committee meeting and 40 days thereafter.
• This privilege is already incorporated under section 135A of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908.

Important rulings regarding the said matter:

Important Rulings

State of Kerala vs K.Ajith and others - The SC observed that privileges and immunities are not gateways to claim exemptions from the general law of the land, particularly in cases of criminal law.

K Anandan Nambiar and another - The SC said as far as valid order of detention is concerned, a MP can claim no special status higher than that of ordinary citizen and is liable to be arrested, detained or questioned even during the Session.

Dr. Zakir Hussain case 1966 - MPs do not enjoy certain privileges so that they can perform their duties

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