Explain the provisions of Article 105 of the Indian Constitution. Does it provide any special immunity to the Members of Parliament outside the parliament also? Discuss while highlighting its significance.
Article 105 deals with the ‘Parliamentary Privileges’ enjoyed by the Parliament as a whole and Members of Parliament (MPs) in their individual capacity. This is an enabling provision which enables the MPs to discharge their legislative duties effectively and without hinderance. However, this article does not accord the MPs any special immunity from the law, outside the House. To be precise, a member of parliament cannot be arrested in Civil cases if Parliament is in session, or parliament will commence session within 40 days or Parliament had commenced a session within 40 days.
Some of the more important privileges of each House of Parliament and of its members and Committees are freedom of speech in Parliament, immunity to a member from any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any Committee thereof, immunity to a person from proceedings in any court in respect of the publication by or under the authority of either House of Parliament of any report, paper, votes or proceedings, prohibition on the courts to inquire into proceedings of Parliament and freedom from arrest of members in civil cases during the continuance of the session of the House and forty days before its commencement and forty days after its conclusion. The privilege of freedom from arrest does not, however, extend to preventive arrest or detention under statutory authority by executive order and in criminal cases. Intimation regarding arrest, detention, imprisonment and release etc. of members under such cases has to be immediately communicated to the Speaker, Lok Sabha by the concerned authorities in the prescribed form.