HomePolitics and Current AffairsVote-for-bribe: SC says no immunity for lawmakers

Vote-for-bribe: SC says no immunity for lawmakers

From now on, there will be no immunity for lawmakers against vote-for-bribe. MLAs and MPs can be prosecuted if they took bribe or money to cast their vote accordingly. 

The Supreme Court, in a landmark decision,  today ruled that an MP or MLA cannot claim immunity from prosecution if he/she is accused of taking a bribe for a vote or a speech in the House.

The judgment by the seven-judge Constitution bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud clearly explained law makers will not protected in cases of vote-for-bribe.

Supreme Court judgement delinks vote-for-bribe cases from immunity under Article 105 and 194

Today's decision completely cases from the immunity law makers derive from Articles 105 and 194 of the Constitution. Both the articles protect MPs and MLAs from prosecution to enable them to work without the fear of legal action against them. These provisions provide them freedom of speech and protect them from being prosecuted for their remarks in the House or any vote in Parliament or a House he/she may be part of. As per the article, only speaker of the House not the can take action against anything objectionable. 

However, the Supreme Court today held that taking a bribe is an independent crime and it has no link with what a lawmaker says or does inside the Parliament or legislative . Hence, the immunity from prosecution enjoyed by lawmakers will not shield them. The court said that protection granted under Articles 105 and 194 cannot protect lawmakers in bribery cases because they have no link with their duties as members of the House.

What was the 1998 Judgment 

Today's verdict set aside the 1998 judgment of the Supreme Court in the PV Narasimha Rao case. In July 1993, a no-confidence motion was moved against the minority government led by the former Prime . His government had survived with a slim margin – 265 votes in favour and 251 against. A year later, allegations surfaced that legislators of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha had taken bribes to vote in support of the government. In the 1998 ruling, the Supreme Court held with a 3:2 majority that MPs and MLAs were immune from prosecution in bribery cases for their vote provided they kept their side of the bargain.

The BuckStopper Reporter
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The BuckStopper, run by a group of seasoned journalists, holds the powerful accountable. The buck stops with them, as they cannot shrug off their official responsibilities.
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