Congress MP Manish Tewari on Friday gave an adjournment notice in Lok Sabha to have a discussion on the “essence, substance and spirit” of Freedom of Speech accorded to Members of Parliament under Article 105 of the Constitution.
“Of late, there have been public discussions involving eminent constitutional functionaries about the contours of the right to free expression of Members of Parliament guaranteed under the Constitution. These discussions have centred on the question of what should be permissible speech,” Tiwari said in his notice
“Prima facie, such enquiries militate against the right to freedom of speech of members of Parliament which is expressly protected by the Constitutional text. This issue is, therefore, central to the functioning of parliamentary democracy in the country”, Tewari said
The Congress MP said said that it is this unfettered right to free expression in Parliament which forms the bedrock of democratic discussion and deliberation.
Meanwhile, the logjam in Parliament continued for the fourth successive day on Thursday with the ruling BJP and opposition parties sticking to their stands. The BJP demancded an apology from Rahul Gandhi over his remarks in the UK while the Opposition members pressed for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the report by US short-seller Hindenburg Research against the Adani Group.
Rahul Gandhi held a press conference at the party headquarters yesterday and said he had asked relevant questions from the government on the Adani issue.
Rahul Gandhi referred to his speech during the motion of thanks to the President’s address and said it had rattled the government. He also referred to ministers taking jibes at him for his remarks during events in the United Kingdom.
“I went to Parliament this morning with the idea of putting what I have said, what I feel on the floor of the house. Four Ministers have raised allegations against me in Parliament House. It is my right to be allowed to speak on the floor of the house. I requested to the Speaker today. I went to his chamber and I requested him. I told him that people from the BJP have made allegations against me and as a Member of Parliament, it is my right to speak,” Gandhi said.
He said the Speaker was “non-committal”. “This story started, the day I gave my speech in Parliament about Adani. I asked some fundamental questions to the Prime Minister about his relationship with the businessman, about how Mr. Adani has been given pretty much the entire India-Israel defence relationship? How he is being given the Bombay Airport, other Airports, how rules have been changed to allow him to be given these things…,” he alleged.
“These are relevant questions and the whole idea is that these questions must not be under table and that is why, this whole exercise or four or five Ministers, the Prime Minister is giving a speech to distract from this fundamental question which is, what is the relationship between the Prime Minister of India and Mr. Adani and his companies and more importantly, whose money is in the shell companies? Who is this unknown person, whose money is in the shell companies? What is his relationship with Mr. Adani? These are the questions,” he added.
Gandhi said he hoped to speak in parliament in detail.
The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were initially adjourned till 2 pm on Thursday and later for the day amid continued protests directed from both the aisles.
The ongoing second part of Budget session began on March 13. (ANI)