Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Dilip Walse Patil on Tuesday refused to interfere in the legal process and seek participation of independent MLA Vivek Pandit who is presently in judicial custody, in the proceedings of the House.
He said the privilege of freedom from arrest is applicable only in civil cases and not criminal.
Pandit has been booked under different sections of the IPC for organising a road blockade in his constituency Vasai to demand exclusion of 18 villages from the proposed Vasai-Virar Municipal corporation.
The MLA declined to seek bail for his release and hence was remanded to 15 days judicial custody last week and is currently lodged in the Thane Central Jail.
Some members from the Opposition had said on Monday that preventing a member from participating in the proceedings of the House amounts to breach of privilege.
In his ruling, Walse-Patil cited previous precedents in the Legislative Assembly, Parliament and even the House of Commons.
He said that if members are arrested under the provisions of IPC and have pleaded guilty, there is no question of privilege involved.
He said, a member cannot be arrested during the session, 40 days before and after the session. But, this special privilege is applicable only for civil cases, he added.