The parliamentary privileges in India are uncodified and this has led to their use for purposes other than they were intended for. In the light of this, examine the need for their codification.

Parliamentary privileges are available to members of Parliament and its committees to secure independence and parliamentary sovereignty. Article 105 of the constitution of India, deals with parliamentary privileges.

Need for codification:

  • It will reduce the risk of misuse of Parliamentary privileges, e.g. the Speaker can issue jail sentences for breach of Parliamentary privileges.
  • Codification will reduce confusion regarding the scope of Parliamentary privileges.
  • Codification ensures that the system of checks and balances is not violated, in case of legislatures.
  • India incorporated Parliamentary privileges following the UK example. But presently, even in the UK, Parliamentary privileges have been codified.
  • Codification ensures that Parliament will be more responsible to citizens, without sacrificing its necessary dignity or independence.

Way forward:

The codification will strengthen the roots of democracy and will boost public confidence in the parliament. Thus, the legislature should act to codify these privileges just like other democracies. The Law commission should be asked to recommend the form in which privileges will be codified.

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