Do MPs/MLAs Taking Bribe For Votes Have Immunity From Criminal Law? Supreme Court Refers To 7-Judge Bench

Do MPs/MLAs Taking Bribe For Votes Have Immunity From Criminal Law? Supreme Court Refers To 7-Judge Bench

Do MPs/MLAs Taking Bribe For Votes Have Immunity From Criminal Law? Supreme Court Refers To 7-Judge Bench

View on r/India by HindiHeinHum

  1. >The Supreme Court on Wednesday referred the judgement in PV Narasimha Rao v State (1998) to a seven-judge bench. The judgement in PV Narasimha Rao had held that legislators enjoyed immunity from prosecution in cases of bribery in relation to parliamentary vote and speech as per Article 105(2) and Article 194(2) of the Indian Constitution. However, it had added that the immunity would only be extended if the legislators carried out the act that they had taken the bribe for. In other words, if a legislator took a bribe to vote for a particular candidate but later decided to not go ahead with the same and voted for someone else, the immunity would not be extended to them.

    >A 5-judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud along with Justices AS Bopanna, MM Sundresh, JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra heard the arguments on whether the judgement in PV Narasimha Rao required to be referred to a larger bench. It may be noted that the present case pertained to Sita Soren, a member of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, who was accused of accepting bribe for the purpose of voting in favour of a particular candidate in the 2012 Rajya Sabha Elections. Subsequently, a chargesheet was filed against by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Challenging the same, Soren filed a petition before the Jharkhand High Court on the ground that she enjoyed immunity under Article 194(2) of the Constitution, 1950, which contemplates, ‘no member of the Legislature of a State shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in the Legislature’. The High Court dismissed the petition. During the course of hearing in the appeal before the Apex Court, reliance was placed on the judgment in PV Narasimha Rao.

    >Facts Of The Case Do Not Require Court To Adjudicate On Correctness of Narasimha Rao: Appellant & AG

    >Senior Advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for the appellant Sita Soren, argued that the mater was a regular criminal appeal and it only involved the question of the application of PV Narasimha Rao. He added that neither side had questioned the judgement in PV Narasimha Rao. 

    >Similar arguments were raised by the Attorney General for India R Venkataramani who stated that there was no need for the judgement to be referred to a larger bench. He also stated that the facts of the present case did not require for the court to go into the correctness of the judgement in PV Narasimha Rao. He further added that in order to qualify for a protection under Article 194, bribery had to be taken for proceedings for business or function of the house. However, in the present case, Soren had received a bribe for the no confidence motion in the parliament. He added– “There is nothing to do with the business of the house. The function–it must have a nexus with the legislative business or purpose…Here there is nothing related to the business of the house. So there is no immunity attached to it.”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.