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No sign of truce, Government firm on apology by 12 suspended MPs

Suspended MPs and their Opposition colleagues stage a demonstration at the Parliament House on December 3, 2021.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

The Opposition and the government on Thursday showed no sign of truce on the 12 MPs suspension issue. They clashed citing rules and propriety . Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu noted that a message was being sent out that while the “sacrilege of the House is democratic, action against sacrilege is undemocratic”. The Opposition insisted that the suspension is not legal.

Mr. Naidu informed the House that since 1962, on 11 occasions till 2010, members have been suspended using Rule 256. The reasons for the latest suspensions, he stated, were in the public domain.

While calling the suspension undemocratic both within and outside the House, not even a word was being said about the reasons given for it and the disdainful conduct of some members in the last session. “Unfortunately, a message is sought to be sent out that ‘sacrilege’ of the House is democratic but action against such sacrilege is undemocratic. I am sure people of the country would not buy this new norms of democracy,” he remarked.

Apology

The government asserted that the suspension could not be revoked till each of the 12 MPs apologised on the floor of the House.

Mr. Naidu observed that he was deeply pained to know from media reports of categorical refusals to express any regret for the acts of “misconduct”. “You don’t want to regret your misconduct but insist on revoking the decision of this House taken as per due process stipulated under the Rules of the House. Does this amount to upholding the principles of democracy?”

The government, using the argument of continuity of the Rajya Sabha, insisted that MPs could be suspended for misconduct in a previous session.

Also Read: Why should we apologise, ask 12 suspended MPs

Seeking to puncture this argument, deputy leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma sought a ruling on whether the House was prorogued after the monsoon session or not. As per Article 83 of the Constitution, the Council of States was a continuous House unlike the Lok Sabha. But for functioning, the President summoned each session and at the conclusion of the session, it was the President again who prorogued the session. The monsoon session that concluded on August 11, he observed, was prorogued on August 31by the President. “I want to know whether the prorogation was in order? If so, is this a separate session or a continuation,” he asked.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was in the Chair, reserved the ruling on this.


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 5:09:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mps-suspension-impasse-continues-both-sides-clash-citing-rules/article37809289.ece

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