Breach of privilege – UPSC Prelims

Breach of Privilege:
  • When any person or authority disregards or attacks any of the rights, immunities and privileges, either of the Members individually or of the House in its collective capacity, the offence is called a breach of privileges and is punishable by the House.
  • Apart from breaches of specific privileges, actions in the form of offences against the House‚Äôs authority or dignity, such as disobedience to its legitimate orders or libels upon itself, its members or officers, are also punishable as contempt of the House.
Punishment for breach of privilege:
The House may impose one of the following punishments on a person found guilty of breach of privilege or contempt of the House:
  1. Admonition or reprimand
  2. Suspension from the House
  3. Expulsion from the House
The penal powers of the House for breach of privilege or contempt of the House are, however, exercised only in an extreme case where a deliberate attempt is made to bring the institution of Parliament into disrespect and undermine public confidence in and support of Parliament.
Why in news?
Former Union Minister and BJP MP P.P. Chaudhary issued a breach of privilege notice against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra in the Lok Sabha.
  • The breach of privilege notice was issued for her remarks against a former Chief Justice of India.
  • The question was whether the conduct of a judge can be discussed on the floor of the House or not.
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