XVII. Committee Of Privileges
280. Question of privileges. –
A member may, with the consent of the Speaker, raise a question involving a breach of privilege either of a member or of the House or of a Committee thereof.
281. Notice of the question of privilege. – A member wishing to raise a question of privilege shall give notice in writing to the Secretary before the commencement of the sitting on the day the question is proposed to be raised. If the question raised is based on a document, the notice shall be accompanied by the document.
282. Conditions of admissibility of question of privilege. –
The right to raise question of privilege shall be governed by the following conditions:—
(i) not more than one question shall be raised at the same sitting;
(ii) the question shall be restricted to a specific matter of recent occurrence; and
(iii) the matter requires the intervention of the Assembly.
283. Mode of raising a question of privilege. –
(1) The Speaker, if he gives consent under rule 278 and holds that the matter proposed to be discussed is in order, shall, after the question and before the list of business is entered upon, call the member concerned who shall rise in his place and while asking for leave to raise the question of privilege, make a short statement relevant thereto:
Provided that where the Speaker has refused his consent under rule 278 or is of opinion that the matter proposed to be discussed is not in order, he may, if he thinks it necessary, read the notice of question of privilege and state that he refuses consent or holds that the notice of question of privilege is not in order.
(2) If objection to leave being granted is taken, the Speaker shall request those members, who are in favour of leave being granted to rise in their places and if not less than fifteen members rise accordingly, the Speaker shall intimate that leave is granted. If less than fifteen members rise, the Speaker shall inform the member that he has not the leave of the House.
284. Question of privilege suddenly arising. –
The Speaker may, if he is satisfied about the urgency of the matter, allow a question of privilege to be raised at any time during the course of a sitting. Such question shall be raised at the earliest opportunity and shall not ordinarily require notice.
285. Reference to committee of Privileges. –
If leave under rule 281 is granted the question shall be referred to a Committee of Privileges on a motion made either by the member who has raised the question of privilege or by any other member.
286. Constitution of Committee of Privileges. –
(1) At the commencement of the Assembly, or from time to time, as the case may be, the Speaker shall nominate a Committee of Privileges consisting of not more than ten members.
(2) The Committee nominated under sub-rule (1) shall hold office untill a new Committee is nominated.
(3) The Speaker may, if he thinks fit, discharge a member from the Committee, if such member is absent from two or more consecutive sittings thereof, without the permission of the Chairperson of the Committee.
(4) Casual vacancies shall be filled by the Speaker and any member nominated to fill such a vacancy shall hold office for a period for which the member in whose place he is nominated would have held office under the provisions of sub-rule (2).
287. Chairperson of Committee of Privileges. –
(1) The Chairperson of the Committee shall be appointed by the Speaker from amongst the members of the Committee.
(2) If the Chairperson is for any reason unable to act, the speaker may appoint another Chairperson in his place.
(3) If the Chairperson is absent from any sitting, the Committee shall choose another member to act as Chairperson for that sitting.
288. Quorum. –
The quorum to constitute a sitting of the Committee shall be, as near as may be, one-half of the total number of members, the fraction, if any, being ignored.
289. Examination of the question by committee. –
(1) The Committee shall examine every question referred to it and determine with reference to the facts of each case whether a breach of privilege is involved and, if so, the nature of the breach, the circumstances leading to it and make such recommendations as it may deem fit.
(2) The report may also state the procedure to be followed by the House in giving effect to the recommendations made by the Committee.
290. Evidence before Committee of Privileges. –
(1) The Committee of Privileges shall have power to require the attendance of persons or the production of papers or records if such a course is considered necessary for the discharge of its duties :
Provided that if any question arises whether the evidence of a person or the production of a document is relevant for the purposes of the Committee, the question shall be referred to the Speaker, whose decision shall be final:
Provided further that Government may decline to produce a document on the ground that its disclosure would be prejudicial to the safety or interest of the State.
(2) A witness may be summoned by an order signed by the Secretary and shall produce documents as are required for the use of the Committee.
(3) It shall be in the discretion of the Committee to treat any evidence tendered before it as secret or confidential.
(4) No document submitted to the Committee shall be withdrawn or altered without the knowledge and approval of the Committee.
291. Sitting of committee of Privileges. –
(1) The Committee of Privileges shall meet as soon as may be after a question of privilege has been referred to it, and from time to time thereafter, till a report is made within the time fixed by the Assembly:
Provided that where the Assembly has not fixed any time for the presentation of the report, the report shall be presented within one month of the date on which reference to the Committee was made :
Provided further that the Assembly may at any time, on a motion being made, direct that the time for the presentation of the report by the Committee be extended to a date specified in motion.
(2) Reports may be either preliminary or final.
(3) The report of the Committee shall be signed by the Chairperson on behalf of the Committee:
Provided that in case the Chairperson is absent or is not readily available the Committee shall choose another member to sign the report on behalf of the Committee.
(4) If any member desires to record a minute of Dissent on any matter he shall hand in his Minute to the Chairperson.
292. Presentation of Report. –
The report of the Committee of Privileges, with Minutes of Dissent, if any, shall be presented to the Assembly by the Chairperson or in his absence by any member of the Committee.
293. Consideration of Report. – (1)
After the report has been presented, the Chairperson or any member of the Committee or any other member may move that the report be taken into consideration, whereupon the Speaker may put the question to the Assembly.
(2) Before putting the question to the Assembly, the Speaker may permit a debate on the motion, not exceeding half-an-hour in duration, and such debate shall not refer to the details of the report further than is necessary to make out a case for the consideration of the report by the Assembly.
(3) After the motion made under sub-rule (1) is agreed to, the Chairperson or any member of the Committee or any other member, as the case may be, may move that the Assembly agrees or disagrees, or agrees with amendments with the recommendations contained in the report.
294. Amendments. –
Any member may give notice of an amendment to the motion for consideration of the report that it be re-committed to the Committee either without limitation or with reference to any particular matter.
295. Priority for consideration of Report of the Committee. –
A motion that the Report of the Committee of Privileges be taken into consideration shall be accorded the priority assigned to a matter of privilege under sub-rule (1) of rule 281 unless there has been undue delay in bringing it forward:
Provided that when a date has already been fixed for the consideration of the report, it shall be given priority as a matter of privilege on the day so appointed.
296. Regulation of procedure. –
The Speaker may issue such direction as may be necessary for regulating the procedure in connection with all matters connected with the consideration of the question of privilege either in the Committee or in the Assembly.
297. Power of Speaker to refer question of privilege to Committee. –
Notwithstanding anything contained in these rules, the Speaker may refer any question of privilege to the Committee of privileges for examination, investigation or report.