Ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, the Lok Sabha secretariat has compiled a new booklet listing out words and expressions that will be considered unparliamentary in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
According to the list, words like ‘jumlajeevi’, ‘baal buddhi’, ‘Covid spreader’, ‘Snoopgate’, ‘anarchist’, ‘Shakuni’, ‘dictatorial’, ‘taanashah’, ‘taanashahi’, ‘vinash purush’, ‘Khalistani’ among others would be expunged if used during debates or otherwise in both the Houses.
Back to Basics
- While Article 105(2) of the Constitution lays down that “no Member of Parliament shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any committee thereof”, MPs do not enjoy the freedom to say whatever they want inside the House.
- Whatever an MP says is subject to the discipline of the Rules of Parliament, the “good sense” of Members, and the control of proceedings by the Speaker. These checks ensure that MPs cannot use “defamatory or indecent or undignified or unparliamentary words” inside the House.
- Rule 380 (“Expunction”) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha says: “If the Speaker is of opinion that words have been used in debate which are defamatory or indecent or unparliamentary or undignified, the Speaker may, while exercising discretion order that such words be expunged from the proceedings of the House.”
- Rule 381 says: “The portion of the proceedings of the House so expunged shall be marked by asterisks and an explanatory footnote shall be inserted in the proceedings as follows: ‘Expunged as ordered by the Chair’.”
- There are phrases and words, literally in thousands, both in English and in other Indian languages, that are “unparliamentary”.
- The Presiding Officers — Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairperson of Rajya Sabha — have the job of keeping these bad words out of Parliament’s records.
- For their reference and help, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has brought out a bulky tome titled ‘Unparliamentary Expressions’.
- The list contains several words and expressions that would probably be considered rude or offensive in most cultures. However, it also has stuff that is likely to be thought of as being fairly harmless or innocuous.
- The state legislatures too are guided mainly by the same book, which also draws heavily from unparliamentary words and phrases used in the Vidhan Sabhas and Vidhan Parishads of India.
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