In News: Nineteen opposition members were suspended from Rajya Sabha for a week
What is the reason for suspending an MP?
- The general principle is that it is the role and duty of the Presiding Officer — Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairman of Rajya Sabha — to maintain order so that the House can function smoothly.
- In order to ensure that proceedings are conducted in the proper manner, the Speaker/ Chairman is empowered to force a Member to withdraw from the House.
- Opposition MPs who had been protesting since the beginning of the session, entered the Well, and ignored Deputy Chairman requests to them to return to their seats.
What are the Rules under which the Presiding Officer acts?
Rule Number 373 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business says:
- The Speaker, if he is of the opinion that the conduct of any Member is grossly disorderly, may direct such Member to withdraw immediately from the House, and any Member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall remain absent during the remainder of the day’s sitting.
- To deal with more recalcitrant Members, the Speaker takes recourse to Rules 374 and 374A.
Rule 374 says:
- The Speaker may, if deems it necessary, name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business thereof.
- If a Member is so named by the Speaker, the Speaker shall, on a motion being made forthwith put the question that the Member be suspended from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session: Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated.
- A member suspended under this rule shall forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House.
- It was incorporated in the Rule Book on December 5, 2001.
- The intention was to skirt around the necessity of moving and adopting a motion for suspension.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in rules 373 and 374, in the event of grave disorder occasioned by a Member coming into the well of the House or abusing the Rules of the House persistently and wilfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or otherwise, such Member shall, on being named by the Speaker, stand automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less: Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated.
- On the Speaker announcing the suspension under this rule, the Member shall forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House.
What happens in Rajya Sabha?
- Like the Speaker in Lok Sabha, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha is empowered under Rule Number 255 of its Rule Book to direct any Member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the House.
- Under Rule 256, the Chairman may name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the Council by persistently and wilfully obstructing business.
- In such a situation, the House may adopt a motion suspending the Member from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session.
- The House may, by another motion, terminate the suspension.
Source: Indian Express