Subscription Subscription
Home > News > India News > Article > SC says no immunity for MPs MLAs from prosecution for taking bribe to vote

SC says no immunity for MPs, MLAs from prosecution for taking bribe to vote

Updated on: 04 March,2024 11:20 AM IST  |  Delhi
mid-day online correspondent |

A seven-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud unanimously overruled the 1998 verdict by a five-judge bench in JMM bribery case.

SC says no immunity for MPs, MLAs from prosecution for taking bribe to vote

Supreme Court/ File pic

In a landmark and unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) can be prosecuted for accepting bribes to vote or speak in the House, reversing a 1998 decision that protected such lawmakers from legal action.

A seven-judge constitution bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud ruled that bribery is not protected by parliamentary privileges and that the interpretation provided in the 1998 JMM bribery verdict violated Articles 105 and 194 of the Constitution, which deal with MPs' and MLAs' powers and privileges, reported PTI.

Per the report, the 1998 top court verdict granted MPs and MLAs immunity from prosecution for taking bribes to make a speech or vote in the legislature. 

According to the report, describing the judgment as "great," Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his support for the decision, stating that it would "ensure clean politics and deepen people's faith in the system."

The court, which included Justices A S Bopanna, M M Sundresh, P S Narasimha, J B Pardiwala, Sanjay Kumar, and Manoj Misra, reconsidered the 1998 decision, emphasising that parliamentary privileges must be related to the House's collective functioning and MPs' vital obligations, the report added. 

The PTI report stated that during the hearing, the Union government claimed that immunity does not apply to bribery and that parliamentary privilege does not exempt lawmakers from the rule of law.

The Supreme Court agreed to revisit its 1998 decision in response to an appeal filed by Sita Soren, a JMM MLA involved in the bribery affair. The issue acquired significance in 2019 when a bench led by then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi recommended it to a five-judge bench, emphasising its broad implications and substantial public importance, the report added. 

According to the report, Sita Soren, accused of taking bribes in the Rajya Sabha election in 2012, contended that the immunity granted to lawmakers under Article 105(2) of the Constitution should apply to her. This immunity had previously been cited in the JMM bribery case involving Shibu Soren and other MPs, resulting in the quashing of the case by the Supreme Court.

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Do you think Lakshmi and Ganesha`s photos on currency notes will help India prosper?

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK