RS Chairman sends complaint against Raghav Chadha to privileges panel
Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday referred the complaints of four MPs, who accused AAP MP Raghav Chadha of proposing their name in a House panel without their consent in violation of rules, to the privileges committee to examine and investigate the matter.
A Rajya Sabha bulletin said the chairman had received complaints from MPs Sasmit Patra, S Phangnon Konyak, M Thambidurai and Narhari Amin, who alleged breach of privilege by Chadha “for inter-alia including their names without their consent, in violation of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, in a motion on August 7”.
Chadha had proposed the constitution of a Select Committee to consider the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and had included the names of the four MPs.
“On consideration of the facts, the Honble Chairman, Rajya Sabha has referred the matter under Rule 203 of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) to the Committee of Privileges for examination, investigation and report,” the RS bulletin said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) defended Chadha, insisting he had done no wrong and alleged that the government wanted to end his Rajya Sabha membership.
“Their aim is to end Raghav Chadhas membership like they did with Rahul Gandhi… we are not scared,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said.
“What is the whole issue? Can any member suggest anyones name for a Select Committee? Yes. Is there any requirement for any signature? No, Raghav Chadha has not breached any privilege,” he said.
Chadha had given notice on August 4, 2023 to Rajya Sabha Secretariat about his intention to move an amendment to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 as passed by Lok Sabha for its reference to a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha consisting of 19 members including the four members who later filed the complaint.
The Bill was taken up for consideration on August 7.
In the complaints, it was alleged that Chadha did not seek consent from the four members in “gross violation” of the Rules.
“Moving a motion of Amendment to a Bill and giving consent to be a Member of a Select Committee is the prerogative of Members of the Council.
“However, a Member while exercising such discretion should not misuse the process by making any attempt to demean and disregard similar prerogatives available to other Members.
“In the instant case, since the consent of the aggrieved Members was never allegedly obtained, it prima facie appears to be a gross violation of the Rules and dignity of the aggrieved Members,” the bulletin said.
“Such transgression by a Member of the Council in the exclusive domain of other Members is unethical and a grave act of impropriety and misconduct,” the Rajya Sabha bulletin also said.
Rule 72 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) regarding the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha provides that the members of a Select Committee on a Bill shall be appointed by the Council when a motion that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee is made.
“No Member shall be appointed to a Select Committee if he is not willing to serve on the Committee. The mover shall ascertain whether a member proposed to be named by him is willing to serve on the Committee. Casual vacancies in a Select Committee shall be filled by appointment on a motion made in the Council,” the rule says.
Home Minister Amit Shah, while replying to the debate on the bill in Rajya Sabha on Monday, had sought a probe into the alleged “fraud” by the AAP MP and urged the chair to investigate the matter.
Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was in the chair at the time, announced in the House that the matter will be probed after the four MPs raised objections to the inclusion of their names without their consent.
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