Parliamentary Privileges: Essential for an Empowered Legislature or Abuse of Power?

The term privilege can be defined as an exemption, special right, advantage or immunity to a particular person or group of persons in a layperson‚Äôs terms. In law, privilege is an advantage enjoyed by a person or an association where people are exempted from some duty, burden, attendance or liability. Parliamentary Privileges are certain rights and immunity enjoyed by the members of the parliament and legislative assemblies individually and collectively, till the time they retain their position as a member of the legislature. These privileges are defined under Article 105 of the Indian Constitution and due to these privileges, members are exempted from any civil or criminal liability for any statement made or act performed by them in their course of tenure. These privileges are called off as soon as the members complete their tenure in the legislative body (Houses of Parliament at the Centre & Legislative Assemblies in the States). (more…)