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How, When & Why Any Member of Parliament (MP) is Suspended?

Tulika Tandon

Recently, the Opposition has been angered by the suspension of 12 Members of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. The list is inclusive of six members from the Indian National Congress, two each from Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena, and one each from CPI and CPM.

The members were suspended for their misbehaviour and unruly conduct towards the end of the Monsoon session of the house. It happened during the passage of the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill 2021. 

The suspended member's names are:

  1. Phulo Devi Netam
  2. Chhaya Verma
  3. Ripun Bora 
  4. Rajamani Patel
  5. Syed Nasir Hussain
  6. Akhilesh Prasad Singh 
  7. Dola Sen
  8. Shanta Chhetri
  9. Priyanka Chaturvedi
  10. Anil Desai
  11. Elamaram Kareem
  12. Binoy Viswam

The article below would inform you How, When and Why the Members of Parliament can be suspended from the Upper or Lower House of the Parliament. 

How, When and Why Members of Parliament (MPs) can be suspended?

Who can suspend the MP?

The presiding officer of the House can invoke suspension of the Member of Parliament. This can be done under Rule 255 of the General Rules of Procedure of the Rajya Sabha.

Under Rule 255, (which states Withdrawal of Member) of the General Rules of Procedure of the Rajya Sabha. The Chairman as per this rule can direct any member whose conduct in his opinion was not right or was disorderly. It states clearly that, " The Chairman may direct any member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the Council and any member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall absent himself during the remainder of the day’s meeting."

Under Rule 256 which provides for suspension of members. It states, "the Chairman may, if he deems it necessary, suspend a member from the service of the Council for a period not exceeding the remainder of the Session."

What is the difference between Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairman of Rajya Sabha:

Like the Speaker of Lok Sabha, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha has the power under Rule Number 255 of its Rule Book. He can direct any Member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the Rajya Sabha.

However, the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha does not have the power to suspend any Member.

Requirements of Giving Suspension Orders:

There should be some of such acts that lead to suspension:

In case there is naming and shaming MPs in the Rajya Sabha bulletin for stepping outside House rules.

In case members came into the Well or indulged in other grossly disorderly behaviour.

The telecast of proceedings is to be deferred to prevent visuals of disorder from being made public.

Conditions of the Suspension:

  1. The solution to unruly behaviour has to be long-term and consistent with democratic values.
  2. There can be no question that the enforcement of the supreme authority of the Presiding Officer is essential for smooth conduct of proceedings.
  3. However, a balance has to be struck. It must be remembered that the job of the Presiding Officer is to run the House, not to lord over it.

As per the general principle, 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 function of the House runs smoothly. The 12 members' suspension came after a day when the Upper House witnessed a massive unruly scene by protesting Opposition members.

The Speaker or Chairman is empowered to force a Member to withdraw from the House in order to ensure that the proceedings are conducted in the proper manner. 

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