New Parliament, Sengol and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla are in the headlines after the special session. The same question is being asked from social media to political circles. After all, when will the Speaker sitting below Sengol follow Rajdharma, that too in three big matters?
The first case is of BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri’s indecent statement against BSP MP Danil Ali in the special session of Parliament. Secondly, the election of Deputy Speaker and thirdly, there is the matter related to the disqualification of Trinamool MPs.
Two out of three cases are pending for years and if action is still not taken on them, then even the Speaker’s action will be of no use after one month. Because, announcement of Lok Sabha elections is proposed in the first week of March.
Let’s talk about Ramesh Bidhuri’s statement first
There was a debate going on in the Lok Sabha on Friday on the success of Chandrayaan-3. Ramesh Bidhuri stood up to speak on behalf of BJP. Meanwhile, BSP MP from Bijnor Danish Ali started saying something, on which Bidhuri got angry and started abusing him.
Initially, Bidhuri’s statement was not removed from the proceedings, but after the uproar, the Speaker ordered to remove it. Even Bidhuri’s speech was not uploaded on Parliament TV. As the controversy escalated, BJP also issued a show cause notice to Bidhuri.
Here, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary of Congress, Supriya Sule of NCP and Danish Ali of BSP have written a letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker and requested to send the matter to the Privileges Committee.
If this matter goes to the Privileges Committee, then Bidhuri’s troubles may increase.
Kalyan Banerjee, member of the Privileges Committee in the Lok Sabha and Trinamool MP, while talking to ABP News, says – Only the Speaker decides which matter will come to the committee and which will not.
According to Kalyan Banerjee, after receiving the letter from the Speaker, the Chairman of the Privileges Committee calls a meeting and the matter is discussed in it. According to the Lok Sabha website, there are a total of 15 members in the Privileges Committee, in which party leaders get a place on the basis of their numbers.
Presently Sunil Kumar Singh, BJP MP from Chatra, is the chairman of this privilege committee. BJP has 9 members in the committee. Apart from this, there is one member each from Congress, Trinamool, BJD, Shiv Sena, YSR Congress and DMK.
Election of Deputy Speaker in Lok Sabha
Now barely 8 months are left in the tenure of the 17th Lok Sabha. However, announcement of Lok Sabha elections is proposed in March itself. If seen from this perspective, only 6 months of tenure are left, but till now the election of the Deputy Speaker has not been held in the Lok Sabha.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary had also raised this issue in the special session. Chaudhary said that it has never happened in the history of Parliament that the post of Deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha has remained vacant. The matter of not having a Deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha has also gone to the Supreme Court.
Article 93 of the Indian Constitution explains in detail about the post of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha. According to this article, after the formation of the Lok Sabha, it will immediately elect two of its members as its Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
The responsibility of electing the President and Vice President of India rests with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. There was a lot of debate in the Constituent Assembly between Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, HV Kamath and Shibban Lal Saxena on the power of the Vice President.
Kamath’s argument was that the Speaker should submit his resignation to the President instead of the Deputy Speaker. Ambedkar had opposed this. In 1969, Lok Sabha Speaker Neelam Sanjiva Reddy submitted his resignation to the Deputy Speaker.
In the absence of the Speaker in the Lok Sabha, the Deputy Speaker presides over the House. Therefore, the Deputy Speaker is also called the presiding officer of the Lok Sabha. There were two such occasions in the history of Parliament, when the Deputy Speaker took charge of the Speaker in his absence.
First, in 1956, when after the death of the then Speaker GV Mavalankar, the session was conducted by Deputy Speaker MA Iyengar and second, in 2022, Speaker GMC Balayogi passed away in the middle of the Parliament session. At that time the Anti-Terrorism Bill was introduced in the Parliament.
The then Deputy Speaker PM Sayeed conducted the session, after which the bill was passed. Had Saeed not been there, the bill would have got stuck for the next session.
Disqualification case of Trinamool MPs
The disqualification case of two Trinamool MPs is also pending with the Lok Sabha Speaker for more than 2 years. The party has raised questions on this several times, but no decision on this has been taken by the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Actually, after Bengal elections 2021, Trinamool leader Sudip Bandhopadhyay wrote a letter to the speaker. Bandhopadhyay said in his letter that Trinamool’s Kanthi MP Shishir Adhikari and Tamluk MP Divyendu Adhikari shared the stage with Home Minister Amit Shah in the elections.
According to Bandhopadhyay, this act comes under the anti-defection law, hence action should be taken against them. According to Trinamool MP Kalyan Banerjee, the Speaker had sent a letter to the Privileges Committee to investigate the matter.
Kalyan Banerjee says- Sudeep has presented his side in this matter twice, but the Privileges Committee has not yet sent the investigation report to the Speaker. On the question of why it has not been sent, Banerjee points to the chairman of the committee.
To prevent defection within the legislature, the 52nd amendment was made to the Constitution of India in the year 1985. After this, the 10th Schedule came into existence. According to the 10th Schedule, the Speaker has the right to take action against MPs and MLAs on the issue of defection.
Under this law, the Speaker has been given the right to take action of disqualification for the conduct of a member both inside the House and outside the House. However, there is no mention of time limit in this law.
The story of Sengol and the scepter
Sengol has been kept near the Speaker in the new building of Parliament. Sengol is an iron metal, on the upper end of which Nandini is seated. It is also a symbol of wealth and prosperity. The history of Sengol is quite old, but it gained immense popularity during the Chola dynasty.
In Tamil tradition Sengol reminds the king that he has a decree to rule justly and impartially. During the coronation of Chola kings, the priests used to hand over Sengol along with the title of Chakravarti.
In the Chola Empire, the king was also considered the supreme judicial officer. Sengol was installed near the royal throne. The king used to give two types of punishments with the help of scholars and ministers. In this, first, death penalty and second financial penalty. Gold coins were taken as financial punishment.