Speaker Somnath Chattterjee’s reference of “disorderly conduct” of 32 MPs to the Privileges Committee for examination has come in for attack from Samajwadi Party’s Mohan Singh who said the presiding officer was “neither a monarch nor the members his subjects”.
The Chair’s decision has stirred a hornet’s nest and could lead to disruptions on Monday and perhaps further embitter the NDA’s relations with the presiding officer against whom, at one point of time, they even hinted of bringing a resolution for his removal.
But in a strong reaction, Singh, who is among the panel of presiding officers, said it was “improper” for the Speaker to refer the matter to the privileges committee.
“He should not have resorted to such an action. I am sad…The Speaker reflects the will of the House and the House appoints the Speaker to regulate its proceedings. If he wants that members should observe rules, he is duty-bound to observe rules…’’ said Singh, ading that he feared the Chair may have an opportunity for judicial intervention in the working of the House.
He hoped the panel — which is there to protect MPs rights against infringement by any external authority — will not take cognizance of the complaint and refer the matter back to the Speaker who has the powers to order a member out or name him for disorderly conduct.