Pepper-spraying MP likely to be expelled

Pepper-spraying MP likely to be expelled

 The fate of Congress MP L Rajagopal will now be decided by the Committee of Privileges of Lok Sabha, which will examine his pepper spraying act in the House last Thursday and recommend punitive measures that might include imprisonment and expulsion.

The Committee of Privileges will also determine the fate of Telugu Desam Party MP M Venugopala Reddy, who broke the glass and table of the Lok Sabha Secretary-General on the same day.

Three days after the lower House of Parliament witnessed unprecedented ruckus due
to the protests by anti-Telangana MPs of the Congress and TDP against the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar asked the Committee of Privileges to ‘examine’ the incident and present a report to her.

Senior Congress MP from Kerala, P C Chacko, heads the Committee of Privileges, which consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker.

It examines every question involving breach of privilege or contempt of the House or of the members of any Committee of the House, when referred to it by the House or by the Speaker.

The Committee on Privileges determines with reference to the facts of each case whether a breach of privilege or contempt of the House is involved and makes suitable recommendations in its report.  It has the powers to recommend punitive measures, which include imprisonment and even expulsion, among others, noted a press-release issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat on Sunday. The House witnessed an unprecedented low on Thursday when the anti-Telangana MPs were protesting against the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill being introduced by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013 seeks to carve out the new state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.

Three MPs had to be rushed to hospital as they fell sick after inhaling pepper spray from Rajagopal. Another MP fainted after complaining chest pain.

Procedure

The Speaker referred the incidents the House witnessed on Thursday under the Rule 227 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Lok Sabha.

According to the press-release issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, when a question of privilege is referred to the committee under the Rule 227, the report is presented to the Speaker.

After the incident on Thursday, the Speaker named 16 MPs, including Rajagopal and Reddy, who stood automatically suspended from the House for five consecutive sittings under Rule 374 (A).

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