A new panel of Lok Sabha MPs has been formed which will exclusively deal with complaints of members against government officials who are indifferent and discourteous towards them.
The 15-member committee, set up by speaker Meira Kumar, will be headed by senior Congress MP Girija Vyas. The panel has been named Committee on violation of protocol norms and contemptuous behaviour of government officers with members of Lok Sabha.
The mandate given to the new committee will allow it to examine every complaint referred to it by the Speaker.
“The complaints related to violation of protocol norms laid down from time to time regarding official dealings with MPs, violation of government guidelines regarding official dealings between administration and MPs and discourteous behaviour by government servants with MPs will be handled by this committee,” stated the Lok Sabha's official bulletin.
The new panel will enjoy powers similar to that of the existing privileges committee of parliament. It would have the powers to summon any official against whom a complaint is received.
“The new committee, if it deems fit can even refer the complaint to the privileges committee, in case it finds that the matter requires to be dealt with more seriously,” said a Lok Sabha official.
Asked about the need for a new committee, when a privileges panel already exists, the official said :”Not all complaints from MPs constitute breach of privilege, therefore, a need was felt for a new panel to exclusively deal with their grievances related to their respective areas.”
A similar committee exists in Chhattisgarh where MLAs can complain about officials not listening to them.
Apart from Vyas other members of the new panel are : TR Baalu, Kalyan Banerjee, Dara Singh Chaurhan, AH Khan Chaudhary, K Jayaprakash Hegde, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, P Karunakaran, M Krishnaswamy, Ananth Kumar, A Sai Prathap, Prem Das Rai, Yashwant Sinha, Dharmendra Yadav and Sharad Yadav.