No immunity to MP/MLA in bribery cases ruled Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, led by a seven-judge constitution bench under Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, has decisively ruled that Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) are not shielded from prosecution for accepting bribes in exchange for delivering speeches or casting votes in the legislature.

This landmark decision overturned the 1998 verdict from a five-judge bench in the JMM bribery case, which had granted immunity to MPs and MLAs in such situations. The apex court emphasized that bribery falls outside the realm of parliamentary privileges and contradicts the essence of Articles 105 and 194 of the Constitution, which delineate the powers and privileges of MPs and MLAs in Parliament and legislative assemblies respectively. The Supreme Court underscored that bribery undermines the integrity of public life and is not protected by the aforementioned articles.


Articles 105 and 194 of the Constitution deal with Privileges. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and the rules and standing orders regulating the procedure of Parliament, there shall be freedom of speech in Parliament.

These Articles maintain that the rules and Regulations which would govern the privileges (including breach of such privilege) shall be determined by Parliament which still are not
defined by the Parliament yet. Articles 105 (3) and Articles 101 and 102, and should proceed to define its privileges as contemplated by Article 105 (3).


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