Chapter

Parliamentary Privileges<sup>1</sup>

A.G. Noorani

in CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS AND CITIZENS' RIGHTS

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195678291
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080588 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195678291.003.0035
Parliamentary Privileges1

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This chapter comments on the refusal of Speaker of the Tamil Nadu assembly, R. Muthiah, to follow the orders of the Supreme Court's stay order on the issuance of a warrant of arrest against former Illustrated Weekly of India journalist, K. P. Sunil. Muthiah argued that the Supreme Court's order bound neither him nor the house. Muthiah's case is only one in the growing number of instances of legislatures' and their speakers' refusal to heed court orders. The chapter suggests that the problem can be traced to the loophole in the Constitution which misplaced faith in the commitment of legislators to the rights of citizens and the 1958 ruling on the Searchlight case which held that the privileges of legislatures override the fundamental rights of the people themselves.

Keywords: R. Muthiah; warrant of arrest; Supreme Court; K.P. Sunil; Constitution; privileges of legislatures; court orders; Searchlight case

Chapter.  3646 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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