‘Courts cannot go into the lawfulness of proceedings of Parliament’

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed, at the admission stage itself, a petition for a directive to the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman to withhold the salary, wages and perks/privileges of Members of Parliament disrupting proceedings and try them under the Prevention of Corruption Act if they continued to avail themselves of the privileges.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjana Desai rejected the public interest litigation petition filed by Satish Chandra, who also wanted regular offenders disqualified from the membership of the House.

Mr. Chandra argued that because of the unparliamentary conduct, any claim for salary, wages, perks and other privileges from a member “who disrupts proceedings may be construed as a corrupt practice…”

He also wanted regular offenders debarred from elections and the Election Commission directed to make it mandatory for each member intending to contest elections again to explain in an affidavit how many times he/she had disrupted proceedings of the Lok Sabha, violating Rule 349 of the Procedure and Conduct of Business, or of the Assembly.

The Chief Justice told the petitioner that the court had ruled in two cases that the Speaker was the guardian of the House, and he/she had the powers to regulate the procedure and conduct of business.

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