Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Supreme Court Revokes Parliamentary Immunity in Bribery Cases

In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court reversed the immunity granted to lawmakers from prosecution for accepting bribes in exchange for speech or votes in parliament. A seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud emphasized that bribery undermines integrity in public life and fundamentally undermines democracy.

The decision overturns a 1998 decision that protected lawmakers from prosecution for accepting bribes in connection with their parliamentary duties under Article 105(2) of the Constitution.

CJI Chandrachud emphasized the vital role of Article 105 in fostering an atmosphere conducive to meaningful parliamentary debate, stressing that this atmosphere deteriorates when members of Parliament accept bribes to deliver speeches. He emphasized that individual lawmakers could not claim exemption, as this protection depended on the collective action of the government.

While members of Parliament and the National Assembly enjoy immunity for their acts and utterances in the House, this judgment makes it clear that there will be no immunity for offenses of bribery under Article 105 or Article 194 a of the Constitution. The unanimous judgment delivered by the Constituent Assembly confirms the court’s commitment to maintaining the standards of integrity and morality in public life.

This landmark choice includes massive implications, mainly in light of new controversies along with the ‘interrogation charge’ case related to the expulsion of Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra. Additionally, the selection will address allegations of vote casting in the latest Rajya Sabha elections so that you can reaffirm the function of the judiciary in safeguarding the integrity of democratic institutions.


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