What is the procedure to suspend an MP from the House?

In the article below know what are the reasons for suspending an MP, the rules under which the Preceding Officer acts, what is the procedure in Rajya Sabha and is there an alternative to suspension? Check all details below.
Created On: Dec 2, 2021 12:11 IST
Modified On: Dec 2, 2021 13:25 IST
Procedure to suspend an MP from the House
Procedure to suspend an MP from the House

Recently the opposition led by the Congress party walked out of the Parliament in order to protest the suspension of 12 Members of Parliament (from Opposition parties) from the Rajya Sabha. The chairman had asked them to apologize after they boycotted the proceedings of the upper house of Parliament. Check in the article below why, how and what happens when the member of Parliament is suspended from the House. 

The Chairman of Rajya Sabha is empowered under Rule Number 255 to "direct any Member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately" from the House.

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Rules under which the Presiding Officer Acts

According to Rule Number 372 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business “The Speaker, if is of the opinion that the conduct of any Member is grossly disorderly, may direct such Member to withdraw immediately from the House, and any Member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall remain absent during the rest of the day’s sitting.”
To deal with more obstinate or recalcitrant Members, the Speaker makes take recourse to Rules 374 and 374A.
What is Rule 374?
- "The Speaker may name a Member if deems it necessary, who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business thereof."

-  "If a Member is so named by the Speaker, the Speaker shall, on a motion being made forthwith put the question that the Member (naming such Member) be suspended from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session."

- "Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated."

What is Rule 374A?

On 5 December 2001, Rule 374A was incorporated within the Rule Book. The purpose was to skirt around the necessity of moving and adopting a motion for suspension.

- "Notwithstanding anything contained in rules 373 and 374, within the event of grave disorder occasioned by a Member coming into the well of the House or abusing the Rules of the House persistently and wilfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or otherwise, such Member shall, on being named by the Speaker, stand automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive sittings or the rest of the session, whichever is less."

- "Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated."

Rajya Sabha Procedure

Mainly it's similar with one important difference.

- Like Lok Sabha Speaker, the Rajya Sabha chairman is additionally empowered under the Rule Number 255 of its Rule Book.

- Unlike the Speaker of Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha Chairman doesn't have the power to suspend a Member. Therefore, the Hosue may by another motion, terminate the suspension.

- The Chairman may "name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the Council by persistently and wilfully obstructing" business. 

- In this type of situation, the House may adopt a motion suspending the Member from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session.
Suspension of an MP is a common practice or not

- It is not an uncommon procedure but yes a strong action. 

- It is necessary and can't be questioned that the enforcement of the supreme authority of the Presiding Officer is essential for the smooth conduct of proceedings. 

- Therefore, it should be remembered that the job of the Presiding Officer is to run the House, not to lord over it.
- On 5 March 2020, seven Congress members were suspended from Lok Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament. The seven Congress members were Gaurav Gogoi (Kaliabor), T N Prathapan (Thrissur), Dean Kuriakose (Idukki), Rajmohan Unnithan (Kasaragod), Manickam Tagore (Virudhunagar), Benny Behanan (Chalakudy), and Gurjeet Singh Aujla (Amritsar).

- Speaker Om Birla suspended two Congress Members in January 2019.

- Birla’s predecessor in the Speaker’s Chair, Sumitra Mahajan, suspended a total of 45 Members belonging to the TDP and AIADMK after they continuously disrupted proceedings for days in January 2019.

- Nine Members were suspended for five days on 2 September 2014.

- Speaker Meira Kumar suspended 18 MPs from (undivided) Andhra Pradesh following pandemonium in the House on 13 February 2014..etc.
Is there any alternative to suspension

- For unruly behaviour, the solution has to be long-term and consistent with democratic values.

- In fact, a previous Speaker had ordered that television cameras be focussed on the demonstrating members so that people could see how their representatives were behaving in the House.

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Which party members have been suspended from the House this time?

The MPs that have been suspended include six from the Congress, two each from Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena, and one each from CPI and CPM.

Who can suspend the MPs from the House?

The Speaker of Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha have the power to suspend the MPs from the House

How many opposition members have been suspended in this session?

12 MPs of opposition have been suspended in the winter session 2021

Can a member of Parliament be suspended?

Yes, the speaker has the power to suspend the member of Parliament
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