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SC ends immunity for lawmakers accepting bribes

Updated on: 05 March,2024 07:40 AM IST  |  New Delhi
Agencies |

Landmark ruling overturns 1998 verdict, MPs and MLAs can now be prosecuted for bribery in House activities

SC ends immunity for lawmakers accepting bribes

Farmers protesting during their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march. File pic/PTI

MPs and MLAs taking bribes to vote or make a speech in the House are not immune from prosecution, the Supreme Court said on Monday in a landmark, unanimous verdict that overrules its 1998 judgment protecting such lawmakers. Observing that bribery is not protected by parliamentary privileges, a seven-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud held that a five-judge bench’s interpretation in the 1998 verdict in the JMM bribery case was contrary to Articles 105 and 194 of the Constitution.

Describing the judgment as “great”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a post on X that it would “ensure clean politics and deepen people’s faith in the system”. Articles 105 and 194 deal with the powers and privileges of MPs and MLAs in the Parliament and the legislative assemblies. “Corruption and bribery by members of the legislatures erode probity in public life,” the CJI, who read the operative part of verdict, said while pronouncing the verdict today.

Vacate office till June 15: SC to AAP

The Supreme Court on Monday granted the Aam Aadmi Party time till June 15, 2024 to vacate its offices at Rouse Avenue here after noting that the land was allotted to the Delhi High Court for expanding judicial infrastructure. “We would request the L&DO to process the application and communicate its decision within a period of four weeks,” the bench said, adding AAP has no lawful right to continue on the land. Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the city’s ruling party, submitted that AAP is one of the six national parties in the country.

Farmers’ issues serious, don’t file petitions for publicity: Supreme Court

Farmers protesting during their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march. File pic/PTI
Farmers protesting during their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march. File pic/PTI

Issues related to farmers’ protest are “serious”, the Supreme Court said on Monday and asked a litigant to desist from filing petitions based only on newspaper reports for publicity. A bench of Justices Surya Kant and KV Viswanathan, allowed petitioner Agnostos Theos, the Managing Director of the Sikh Chamber of Commerce, to withdraw his plea that alleged violation of the rights of the “peacefully protesting” farmers by the Centre and some states.

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