• A breach of privilege notice against Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut was referred to the Committee of Privileges for investigation by Rajya Sabha Chairman for his alleged remarks calling the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly a “house of thieves”.


  • Parliamentary privilege refers to rights and immunities enjoyed by Parliament as an institution and MPs in their individual capacity, without which they cannot discharge their functions as entrusted upon them by the Constitution.
  • These are defined under article 105 of the constitution.
  • Under these privileges, the members of Parliament are exempted from any civil liability (but not criminal liability) for any statement made or act done in the course of their duties.
  • No special law has been enacted to exhaustively codify all the privileges. They are rather based on five sources:
    • Constitutional provisions
    • Various laws made by Parliament
    • Rules of both the Houses
    • Parliamentary conventions
    • Judicial interpretations
  • These privileges do not extend to the president who is also an integral part of the Parliament.
  • A breach of privilege is a violation of any of the privileges of MPs/Parliament.
    • Among other things, any action ‘casting reflections’ on MPs, parliament or its committees; could be considered breach of privilege.
    • This may include publishing of news items, editorials or statements made in newspaper/magazine/TV interviews or in public speeches.


  • The Committee in
    • Lok sabha consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker. The Speaker nominates the head of the committee of privileges.
    • Rajya Sabha consists of 10 members nominated by Chairman. The deputy chairperson heads the committee of privileges.
  • The committee examines every question involving a breach of privilege of the House or of the members or of any Committee thereof referred to it by the House or by the Speaker/Chairman.
  • It also determines with reference to the facts of each case whether a breach of privilege is involved and makes suitable recommendations in its report.
  • It states the procedure to be followed by the House in giving effect to its recommendations.
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