Discipline and discussion – on discussions in Parliament

Source: This post is created based on the article “Discipline and discussion – on discussions in Parliament”, published in Indian Express on 22nd Feb.

Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 2, Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business

Context: Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar directed the Privileges Committee to investigate the disorderly conduct by 12 Opposition Members of Parliament. The disruption led to multiple adjournments during the first leg of the Budget session.

What are the other such examples of penalising over the discussions in Parliament?

Opposition’s slogans during Prime Minister’s 85-minute address, were blacked out.

An MP was suspended by the Chairmen for recording the proceedings on her mobile phone.

Chairman interrupted the speech of Leader of the Opposition during the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address, several times. He repeatedly directed to “authenticate” remarks.

6 parts of speech were expunged from the Rajya Sabha records. Similarly, the speech of another Congress leader got 18 cuts.

What are the issues associated with this penalisation?

It will be the mockery of parliamentary democracy if Opposition is penalised for seeking accountability from the government.

Government has availability of all the information, over which queries are raised in Parliament. It is duty of the government to validate the authenticity of the information or the lack of it provided by an MP.

Parliamentary discipline must ensure that discussions take place, and the government provides the answers and not the opposite of it.

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