Suspension of Members from Assembly – UPSC Prelims

What are the rules on the length of suspension of a Member of Parliament?
  • Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha (Rules 373, 374, and 374A):  It provides for the withdrawal of a member whose conduct is “grossly disorderly”, and suspension of one who abuses the rules of the House or wilfully obstructs its business.
  • Maximum suspension:
    • Lok Sabha: It is for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less.
    • Rajya Sabha: under Rules 255 and 256, maximum suspension does not exceed the remainder of the session.
    • State legislative assemblies and councils: Prescribe a maximum suspension not exceeding the remainder of the session.
SC view on Suspension of Members from Assembly:
  • Supreme Court (SC) is hearing the case of suspension of 12 BJP MLAs from Maharashtra Assembly for one year.
  • SC has ruled that the suspension of MLAs for one year is prima facie unconstitutional. Because there is a constitutional bar to it.
  • Under Article 190(4) of the Constitution, if a member of a House is absent from all meetings without its permission for a period of 60 days, the House may declare the seat vacant.
  • SC further said that while the House has power to suspend a member, it cannot be for more than 59 days.
  • Also, each constituency has an equal amount of right to be represented in the House, and none can represent these constituencies in the absence of the elected MLAs.
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