Explained: What is the standard procedure to suspend an MP from the House?
New Delhi, Sep 22: As many as eight Rajya Sabha MPs were suspended on Monday (September 21) for unruly behaviour in the House the previous day (September 20). The motion was later passed by a voice vote.
The government moved a motion seeking the suspension of Derek O'Brien (TMC), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Rajeev Satav (Congress), KK Ragesh (CPM), Syed Nazir Hussain (Congress), Ripun Boren (Congress), Dola Sen (TMC) and Elamaram Kareem (CPM).
After the motion was adopted, it can be seen that the Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked the MPs to leave the House. The suspended members initially refused to leave, and then held a sit-in outside Parliament. The Opposition sharply criticised the suspension of the MPs.
For what reasons would an MP be suspended?
The general principle is that it is the role and duty of the Presiding Officer - Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairman of Rajya Sabha - to maintain order so that the House can function smoothly. The suspension of the eight members comes a day after the Upper House witnessed massive unruly scenes by protesting Opposition members during the passage of two farm Bills.
To ensure the proceedings will be carried in a "decent manner", the Speaker/Chairman is empowered to force a Member to withdraw from the House.
What are the Rules under which the Presiding Officer acts?
According to the Rule Number 373 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, "The Speaker, if is of the opinion that the conduct of any Member is grossly disorderly, may direct such Member to withdraw immediately from the House, and any Member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall remain absent during the remainder of the day's sitting."
To make the session function even more effectively, the Speaker may take recourse to Rules 374 and 374A.
According to Rule 374, "(1) The Speaker may, if deems it necessary, name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business thereof."
"(2) If a Member is so named by the Speaker, the Speaker shall, on a motion being made forthwith put the question that the Member (naming such Member) be suspended from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session: Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated."
"(3) A member suspended under this rule shall forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House."
Meanwhile, it can be seen that Rule 374A was incorporated in the Rule Book on December 5, 2001. The intention to incorporate the rule was to skirt around the necessity of moving and adopting a motion for suspension.
According to Rule 374A, "(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in rules 373 and 374, in the event of grave disorder occasioned by a Member coming into the well of the House or abusing the Rules of the House persistently and wilfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or otherwise, such Member shall, on being named by the Speaker, stand automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less: Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated."
"(2) On the Speaker announcing the suspension under this rule, the Member shall forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House."