The parliamentary committee looking into the misconduct of members has flagged the issue of conflict of interests with regard to MPs who participate in issues impinging on their business interests.
Sources said the panel has re-focussed on the existing rules regarding the conflict of interests in the backdrop of the changing complexion of Parliament and the entry of non-politicians in the political arena. According to the rules, if a member has a business interest relating to the issue under discussion, he has to first declare it. It is then left to the presiding officer to decide whether to allow him to speak on the issue.
The report, to be tabled in the Lok Sabha soon, does not, however, talk about not allowing a member to vote on a matter that deals with his or her business interest, sources said.
The committee report on misconduct of members, chaired by Kishore Chandra Deo, is believed to have given an elaborate list of what constitutes misconduct, thrown open the issue for debate and left it to the House to decide whether the existing rules on the matter need to be changed. Besides the report on misconduct, Deo, as chairman of the privileges committee, will also submit a report to the Lok Sabha regarding the codification of privileges of members as well on the stand Parliament should take when investigating agencies seek papers from Parliament.
For the second time in less than 15 years, the panel members, barring one, have reportedly rejected the idea of codifying privileges.