06th December, 2015 (MAINS)


Q1. The ‘Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and its Members’ as envisaged in Article 105 of the Constitution leave room for a large number of un-codified and un-enumerated privileges to continue. Assess the reasons for the absence of legal codification of the ‘parliamentary privileges’. How can this problem be addressed? [12.5marks/2014/GS-2] 150 words.

Please write answer in the comments section.

  • Dev Verma

    Reasons for the absence of legal codification of the ‘parliamentary privileges’:
    1. Members themselves do not want to codify the privileges enjoyed by them and want to enjoy the powers availed to them under Article 105.
    2. It is evident from the fact that the Parliament has not passed any law to determine the power, privileges and immunities of the members even though there is a provision to do so under article 105(3).
    3. Nature of the parliamentary work is dynamic and codifying the privileges puts a limitation on parliamentary freedom which may not helpful in its proceedings.
    4. Article 122 puts a limitation on the judiciary to enquire into the validity of the proceedings of the Parliament.
    5. Even if any limitations are imposed on the Parliament, the issue of violation of privileges would still be dealt exclusively by Parliament under article 121.

    Need of legal codification of the ‘parliamentary privileges’:
    1. The members can misuse this privilege by making hateful speeches, derogatory remarks against any particular individual, group or community.
    2. It hampers the principle of Checks and Balances as the judiciary fails to restrict the violations of the illegitimate action taken by MPs within the house.

    This problem can be addressed by:
    1. Creation of a committee consisting of members from the Parliament, judiciary social groups to suggest measures for the legal codification of the privileges.
    2. Taking into account the precedents of the parliamentary procedures and using them as a benchmark of best practices as an alternative to absence of legal codification and parliamentary privileges.

    • Nikhil Singh

      Very nicely written answer, but in the examination hall you may not have time to think too much as you have to write according to the flow of your thoughts.

      • Deepak Tomar

        thats true..