Kejriwal in contempt of RS over farm laws speech: Sonal Mansingh

RS MP alleges breach of privilege of House, Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu

Rajya Sabha MP Sonal Mansingh has moved a motion of privilege against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, alleging that he had breached the privilege of the Upper House and Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu by claiming in his speech in the Delhi Assembly, that the farm laws were cleared by the Rajya Sabha without voting.

Sources in Rajya Sabha said the notice was sent on Wednesday. While on the whole it is assumed that speech inside a House of Legislature is protected, sources in the Upper House said it may not always be so. Sources cited a decision made during a conference of Speakers and presiding officers in 1955, that “a motion of breach of privilege can be moved against another House.”

The notice itself refers to Page 293 of the “Practices and Procedures of Parliament” by Kaul and Shakdher to find a basis for the notice.

“In this particular case, not only has Mr. Kejriwal cast aspersions on the motives of the House but also on the Chairperson, Vice-President of India Venkaiah Naidu by alleging that the farm bills were passed by Rajya Sabha without any voting,” said a source. The notice also mentions that Mr. Kejriwal proceeded to tear up a copy of the Bills during his speech.

The notice states that “the aforementioned utterances of Shri. Arvind Kejriwal is not only a serious breach of privilege also a blatant contempt of the House which was a mischievous attempt to denigrate the character of the chairperson of Rajya Sabha and the prestige of the Upper house of Parliament.”

The three farm Bills were passed by voice vote in Rajya Sabha during the last session of Parliament amid a din as many opposition MPs were in the Well of the House demanding a division. Deputy chairperson Harivansh cited lack of order and the Bills were passed by voice vote.

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