Friday, Nov 28, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Mr. Radhakrishnan, also a former Speaker of the Kerala Assembly, said the time has come to codify in a clear-cut manner the immunity and privileges granted to MPs. The crucial question was whether privileges and rights of legislatures were in any way superior to the fundamental rights of a citizen enshrined in the Constitution.
The CPI(M) member said that when the Constitution was adopted it had simply followed the example of the House of Commons. ``It is time the privileges are be codified.'' In the recent case relating to the Tamil Nadu Assembly, the question that came to the fore was if privileges and immunity of the legislatures would prevail over the fundamental rights of a citizen. Every citizen had the right to defend himself and in case of violation the Privileges Committee should verify the statement of the person and not send him to jail without giving a notice and an opportunity to be heard.
Mr. Radhakrishnan said that in the past five decades a number of precedents and examples have come up and the situation has changed. ``There is no point in delaying the matter further.''
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