LS panel for automatic suspension of unruly MPs

LS panel for automatic suspension of unruly MPs

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. PTI File Photo

As disruptions ruled Parliament, leaders cutting across party lines on Friday authorised Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to frame rules for automatic suspension of members who enter the Well of the House.

The Rules Committee of the Lok Sabha, chaired by Mahajan, met here to find a way to curb disruptions that have affected transaction of Parliamentary business since the Winter Session began on December 11.

The Committee approved a draft report that suggested automatic suspension of a member for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less, if he entered the Well of the House to disrupt proceedings despite warnings by the chair.

The present rules have the provision for suspension of a member only after being named by the Speaker or on a resolution moved by the government.

Parliament sources said Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had written to the Speaker asking her to leave a decision on the matter to the next Lok Sabha, and that the present House was almost in the last months of its tenure.

However, a large section of the Committee was of the opinion that rules framed by the Lok Sabha would remain in place even after the expiry of the term of the 16th Lok Sabha in May next year, and that there should be no delay in framing of rules.

B Mahtab of the BJD recalled that the BJP had backed a similar move in the Chhattisgarh Assembly during the tenure of Chief Minister Ajit Jogi.

Members of the AIADMK, Congress, TDP have been storming the Well of the House and waving placards and shouting slogans to press for their demands since the Winter Session began last week.

The Speaker told the panel members that she would take a final decision on their recommendations after taking a sense of the House when it reconvenes on Thursday.

An exasperated Speaker said that disruptions in Parliament were sending wrong signals across the country as well as the world.

“I receive messages several times saying, madam our schools run better. Please understand, what message are we trying to give: that are we worse than school kids,” the Speaker had said earlier this week as members protested in the Well of the Lok Sabha.

Mahajan said that even people from other countries, after witnessing disruptions in Parliament, ask her “what was happening in our country."

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