December 11, 2021 - 11:26 am

 Demands To Revoke Suspension Of MPs 

The sitting of Rajya Sabha are being disrupted every day after the suspension of 12 members of the Upper House from the ongoing winter session. These members were suspended because of their alleged involvement in the grave disorder in the house on the last day of the previous session. Around 120 opposition Rajya Sabha MPs have decided to join the sit-in protest in Parliament Complex against the suspension.

                      It was on November 29, the first day of the winter session that Naidu suspended the 12 MPs from 5 political parties, for the rest of the session, for what Naidu claimed was "unruly conduct" on the last day of the monsoon session on August 11. Marshals were called after opposition members stormed the Well of the House during the passage of the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021. The chairman adjourned the house and the Rajya Sabha Parliamentry Bulletin that day listed 33 members for obstructing proceedings.

                     The motion to suspend the member was moved under Rule 256 of Rajya Sabha's rules of procedure. This rule provides for the suspension of a member who disregards the authority of the chair or abuses the rule of the council by persistently and willfully obstructing the business of the House. Persistent and willful obstruction of the business of the House is the crux of the offence. When this happens, the Chairman may name such a member, which will be immediately followed by a motion for his suspensions. Upon the motion being adopted by the House, the member would stand suspended. Suspension can be for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session. This would mean that if the member is suspended on the last day of the session, the period of suspension will be on a day. So, even if a government would like to suspend such a member for a longer period, it would not be possible under the present rule.

                     Whether the present cases of suspension for a disorder that took place in the previous session is right or wrong, that questions stood disposed of the moment the House adopted the motion. Unless the House itself revokes the suspension nothing can be done about it. The decisions of the House is final. The judiciary has time and again clarified that the house has absolute power to regulate its internal matters. Suspension of a member is such a matter. Nevertheless, resorting to a doubtful procedure to suspend MPs for an entire session will continue to bother democratically-minded citizens at a sub-conscious level. The solution to disruption doesn't lie in suspension. That is the lesson we should learn from the past experience.