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Godavaris Misra Vs. Nandakisore Das, Speaker, Orissa Legislative Assembly - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Case NumberO.J.C. No. 58 of 1952
Judge
Reported inAIR1953Ori111
ActsConstitution of India - Articles 194(1), 194(3), 208(2), 212; Orissa Legislative Asembly Rules - Rules 45 to 49; ;Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 9; Government of India Act, 1935 - Sections 71(2)
AppellantGodavaris Misra
RespondentNandakisore Das, Speaker, Orissa Legislative Assembly
Appellant AdvocateH. Mohapatra and ;R.N. Misra, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateAdv. General
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredGunupati Keshavaram Reddy v. Nafisul Hasas and
Excerpt:
- motor vehicles act, 1988 [c.a. no. 59/1988]section 173(1) proviso; [d. biswas, amitava roy & i.a.ansari, jj] appeal without statutory deposit but within limitation/or extended period of limitation maintainability - held, if the provision of a statute speaks of entertainment of appeal, it denotes that the appeal cannot be admitted to consideration unless other requirements are complied with. the provision of sub-section (1) of section 173 permits filing of an appeal against an award within 90 days with a rider in the first proviso that such appeal filed cannot be entertained unless the statutory deposit is made. the period of limitation is applicable only to the filing of the appeal and not to the deposit to be made. it, therefore, appears that an appeal filed under section 173 cannot.....narasimham, j.1. this is a petition under article 226 of the constitution by sri godavaris misra, a member of the orissa legislative assembly, against sri naudakisore das, speaker of that assembly.2. on 5-9-52 the petitioner sent notice of the following question to the secretary, orissa legislative assembly. 'will the government be pleased to state(a) whether the house occupied by sri l.m. patnaik, when he was speaker of this assembly, was a government or private building and, if the latter, how it was acquired to serve as the residence of the speaker;(b) whether it is occupied now by the present speaker or by sri l.m. patnaik and, in either case, whether or not, it is so occupied free of rent; and(c) if rent has been paid for the occupation of the house the period for which it has been.....
Judgment:

Narasimham, J.

1. This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution by Sri Godavaris Misra, a member of the Orissa Legislative Assembly, against Sri Naudakisore DAS, Speaker of that Assembly.

2. On 5-9-52 the petitioner sent notice of the following question to the Secretary, Orissa Legislative Assembly. 'Will the Government be pleased to state

(a) Whether the house occupied by Sri L.M. Patnaik, when he was Speaker of this Assembly, was a Government or private building and, if the latter, how it was acquired to serve as the residence of the Speaker;

(b) Whether it is occupied now by the present Speaker or by Sri L.M. Patnaik and, in either case, whether or not, it is so occupied free of rent; and

(c) if rent has been paid for the occupation of the house the period for which it has been so paid by the present occupier and the rent, if any, which Government are paying in respect of it to the proprietor?'

On 6-9-52 he sent notice of another question.

'Wiil the Government be pleased to state-

(a) What action they have so far taken in fulfilment of promises held out by them on questions raised by the members of this. Assembly on the floor thereof during its meetings of the first session held in March, April, May, June, July, 1952, and such of the promises as are still awaiting fulfilment; and

(b) the approximate time within which fulfilment of the promises of the latter category, if any, can be expected?'

He was informed by the Secretary of the Legislative Assembly that the aforesaid two questions had been disallowed by the Speaker. The reasons for such disallowance were not clearly stated at that time. But during the pendency of the application before us, the petitioner made a special request to the Speaker to furnish him with the reasons for disallowance of the two questions. Thereupon, the Secretary of the O. L. A. acting under the orders of the Speaker, furnished the reasons which are as follows:

'The starred question dated 6-9-52 regarding the fulfilment of promises made by all the Ministers during the first session of March, April,May, June, and July 1952 etc. Legislative Assembly Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. It was also considered as an abuse of the right of questioning under Rule 49.

The question sent on 5-11-52 (presumably a mistake for 5-9-52) regarding the house occupied by Sri L.M. Patnaik when he was the Speaker of this Assembly Department as worded by Sri Misra relates to the Assembly Department since the building in question was in charge of the Assembly Department who are responsible for the payment of rent. Since no Minister is in charge of the Assembly Department, it is a well-established Parliamentary convention that no sort of question or discussion regarding the Legislature (sic) Department of which the Speaker is the head is allowed. The question also obviously hits Rules 46, 47, 48 (12) and

49. So it was disallowed by me.

Inform Sri Misra accordingly.

Sd/- Nanda Kishore Das.

14-11-52.'

3. In view of the provisions of Article 212 of the Constitution we felt some doubts about our jurisdiction to issue a writ under Article 226 of the Constitution against the Speaker of the O. L. A. in respect of his action in disallowing certain questions, notice of which was given by a member of the Assembly. The application was, therefore, heard on the preliminary point about our jurisdiction to interfere with the Speaker's action and the Advocate-General was also requested to argue amicus curiae. We are grateful to Mr. H. Mohapatra and to the Advocate-General for the valuable assistance given by them.

4. Article 212 of the Constitution runs thus: Courts not to inquire into proceedings of the Legislature.

'212. (1) The validity of any proceedings in the Legislature of a State shall not be called in question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure.

(2) No officer or member of the Legislature of a State in whom powers are vested by or under this Constitution for regulating procedure or the conduct of business, or for maintaining order, in the Legislature shall be subject to the jurisdiction of any Court in respect of the exercise by him of those powers.'

Clause (2) is the material clause for consideration in the present case. The Speaker of a Legislative Assembly is undoubtedly an 'officer of the Assembly'. This is made clear by the heading to Articles 178 to 187 which is as follows. 'Officers of the State Legislature'.

Under this heading the first Article is Article 178 dealing with the election of a Speaker of the Assembly, thereby indicating that the Speaker is the premier officer of the Assembly. Hence by virtue of Clause (2) of Article 212 the Speaker of the Assembly in whom powers are vested by or under the Constitution for regulating procedure or the conduct of business, or for maintaining order, in the Legislature shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of any Court in respect of the exercise by him of those powers. There is no express provision in the Constitution conferring power on the Speaker to disallow questions put by the members of the Assembly. On the other hand, Article 194(1) confers on the member of an Assembly the right of freedom of speech which right would necessarily include freedom to put any interpellation he likes subject of course to the other provisions of the Constitution and the rules regulating the procedure in the Assembly. Article 208 deals with the rules of procedure of the Assembly. Clauses (1) and (2) of that Article may bequoted.

Rules of procedure.

'208. (1) A House of the Legislature of a Statemay make rules for regulating, subject to theprovisions of this Constitution, its procedureand the conduct of its business.

(2) Until rules are made under Clause (1), the rulesof procedure and standing orders in force immediately before the commencement of this Constitution with respect to the Legislature forthe corresponding Province shall have effect inrelation to the Legislature of the State subjectto such modifications and adaptations as maybe made therein by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, or the Chairman of the Legislative Council, as the case may be'.

The O. L. A. has not yet made rules for regulating its procedure and the conduct of its business in exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (1) of Article 203. Therefore, by virtue of CL (2) of that Article the rules of procedure that were in force prior to the commencement of Constitution as modified and adapted by the Speaker continue to remain in force. A copy of those rules was produced before us and on examining the same we find that Rules 45 to 49 deal with the procedure for giving notice of questions and the circumstances under which the Speaker could disallow them as inadmissible. Those rules are as follows.

VI Questions: Notice of questions.

'45. (1) A member who desires to ask a question shall give notice thereof not later than on the fifteenth day before the meeting at which he desires to put the Question and shall submit a copy of the question with the notice and shall, if he desires the answer to the question on a particular date, distinguish it with an asterisk, stating the date on which such answer is desired; and the answer to such a question shall be given orally:

Provided that the Speaker may, with the consent of the Minister in charge of the department concerned, allow a question to be put of which shorter notice has been given.

(2) No member shall give notice of more than three starred questions for any one day on which the Assembly sits.

(3) Questions requiring elaborate statistical informations or reports shall not be starred. Power to disallow questions.

(46) The Speaker may within the period of notice disallow any question or any part of a question on the ground that it relates to a matter which is not primarily the concern of the State Government, and if he does so, the question or part of the question shall not be placed on the list of questions. Matters to which questions must relate.

(47) (1) A question addressed to a Minister must relate to the public affairs with which he is officially connected or to a matter of administration for which he is responsible. (2) A question addressed to a non-official member must relate to some Bills, resolution or other matter connected with the business of the Assembly for which that member is responsible.

(48) In order that a question may be admissible it must satisfy the following conditions, namely:

(1) It shall not bring in any name or statement not strictly necessary to make the question intelligible;

(2) if it contains a statement by the member himself, he shall make himself responsible for the accuracy of the statement;

(3) it shall not contain arguments, inferences, ironical expressions or defamatory statements:

(4) it shall not ask for an expression of opinion or the solution of a hypothetical proposition;

(5) it may not be asked as to the character or conduct of any person except in his official or public capacity;

(6) it shall not be of excessive length;

(7) it shall not deal with several subjects having no closer connection with one another; FORMS AND CONTENTS OF QUESTIONS. (8) it shall not seek information set forth in documents easily accessible to members;

(9) it shall not suggest action;

(10) it shall not ask for any interpretation of law;

(11) it shall not relate to a matter which is sub-judice; and

(12) it shall not ordinarily raise a matter in which the interest of a particular individual is involved.

(49) The Speaker shall admit all questions which, in his opinion, comply with the provisions of these rules unless he considers that any question is an abuse of the right of questioning or is calculated to obstruct or prejudicially affect the procedure of the Assembly.'

5. The main question for decision is the precise scope of the immunity from interference by any Court of Justice, conferred on the Speaker by Clause (2) of Article 212. So long as the action of the Speaker is 'in respect of the exercise by him of the powers conferred by the rules regulating procedure or conduct of business 'in the Legislature' he is not subject to the jurisdiction of any Court. Mr. Mahapatra laid great emphasis on' the words 'in the Legislature' occurring in that clause and urged that the immunity of the Speaker was limited to those actions taken in respect of the exercise of the powers conferred by the rules which dealt with the proceedings when the Legislature was in session and not with those rules which dealt with other incidental or ancillary matters. In support of this argument he drew our attention to the difference in language between Clause (2) of Article 208 and Clause (2) of Article 212. In the former clause it is stated that rules 'with respect to the Legislature' that were in force prior to the commencement of the Constitution shall have effect 'in relation to the Legislature' of the State subject to such modifications and adaptations as may be made by the Speaker. Clause (2) of Article 212 however is restricted to those rules which regulate procedure or the conduct of business 'in the Legislature.' The words 'with respect to the Legislature' and 'in relation to the Legislature' have wider significance than the words 'in the Legislature' (See -- 'Bank of N.S.W. v. The Commonwealth', 76 Com-W. LR 1 at p. 186 (A) ).

The former words which are found in Clause (2) of Article 208 would include within their scope not only the rule dealing with procedure and conduct of business during the actual session of the Legislature but all other incidental or ancillary matters. Thus, if the provisions of the O. L. A. Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business kept alive by virtue of Clause (2) of Article 208 are examined it will be found that there are several chapters such as parts I, XIII, XV, XVI and XVII in which there are some provisionsdealing with matters having no direct connection with the actual session of the Legislature. These provisions may validly remain in force by virtue of Clause (2) of Article 208 because though they do not deal with procedure and conduct of business 'in the Legislature' they undoubtedly deal with procedure and conduct of business 'with respect to the Legislature' or 'in relation to the Legislature'. I am, therefore, inclined to accept Mr. Mohapatra's contention that the immunity of the speaker in respect of actions taken by him in exercise of the powers conferred by the rules is limited to those rules of procedure and conduct of business which deal with proceedings in the Legislature and not with those rules which deal with incidental or ancillary matters.

6. The next question for consideration is whether the provisions of Rule 45 to 49 of the O. L. A. Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business which deal with the giving of notice of questions by the members of the Assembly and the grounds on which the Speaker could disallow them are rules relating to conduct of business in the Legislature. Mr. Mohapatra urged that the words 'in the Legislature' must mean in the actual session of the Legislature. He has however not been able to cite any authority in support of this contention. On the other hand, the settled practice in the British Parliament is against such a view. It appears that in former times notice of questions was given by members in actual session of the Parliament by reading the questions aloud. (See May's Parliamentary Practice, Edn. 15 p. 338). This practice was however discontinued presumably because it was considered desirable to save valuable time and members were required to give previous notice of the questions prior to the actual commencement of the cession of the Parliament and the Speaker was given the power to disallow those questions which he considered to be inadmissible. The giving of notice of questions prior to the commencement of the actual session and the allowance or disallowance of the same by the Speaker were however considered to be part of the 'proceedings in Parliament'. The report of the Select Committee of the Parliament on the Official Secrets Act in the session of 1938-39 regarding the meaning of the term 'proceedings' in Parliament is as follows:

'It covers both the asking of a question and the giving written notice of such question, and includes everything said or done by a member in the exercise of his functions as a member in a committee of either House, as well as everything said or done in either House in the transaction of Parliamentary business.' (See May's Parliamentary Practice, p. 62).

It seems thus a settled Parliamentary usage that 'proceedings in Parliament' are not limited to the proceedings during the actual session of the Parliament but also include some preliminary steps such as giving of notice Of questions or notice of resolutions etc. Presumably this extended connotation of the said term is based on the idea that when notice of a question is given and the Speaker allows or disallows the same, notionally it should be deemed that the questions were actually asked in the session of the parliament and allowed or disallowed as the case may be. Following this well-known Parliamentary usage I would hold that the giving of notice of questions by a member of the Assembly is part of the proceedings in the Assembly and consequently any rule regulating the notice of questions is a rule regulating the conduct of business 'in the Legislature'.

7. Mr. Mohapatra then put forward an alternative argument to the effect that Rule 45 to 49 of the O.L.A. Rules deal with the 'conduct of business' and that those provisions were no longer in force. This argument is based on a slight difference in the language used in Clauses (1) and (2) of Article 208. Clause (1) confers on the Legislature the power to make rules 'for regulating its procedure and the conduct of business'. Clause (2) however says that until rules are made under Clause (1) the previous 'rules of procedure' of the Legislature would continue to remain in force. The words 'conduct of business' are however omitted in Clause (2) of Article 208. Mr. Mohapatra therefore urged that the omission was deliberate and that only those rules which 'regulated the procedure' of the Assembly, would survive by virtue of Clause (2) and that the remaining rules regulating the 'conduct of business' of the Assembly would not survive. According to him the makers of the Constitution expected that the new Legislature would promptly make rules regulating not only its procedure but also its conduct of business and that as the O. L. A. has not yet exercised its powers under Clause (1) of Article 208 it can blame only itself if due to the absence of any rule regulating its conduct of business it is unable to function properly. This argument though ingenious cannot bear closer scrutiny. The heading above Article 208 is 'Procedure generally'. Articles 208, 209 and 212 all refer to procedure or conduct of business in the Legislature. Thus it appears that conduct of business also was considered to be included in the general expression 'procedure' as given in the heading of those Articles. It is true thatby expressly using the words 'procedure' and 'conduct of business' in juxtaposition in Clause (1) of Article 208 the makers of the Constitution intended to convey two different ideas by those expressions. But the marginal note of Clause (1) of Article 208 is 'Rules of procedure'. This seems to indicate that by the expression 'Rules of procedure' was meant rules regulating the procedure and conduct of business of the Legislature. In Clause (2) of Article 208

the words 'Rules of procedure' found in the marginal note of Clause (1) have been adopted. As words and phrases should be given the same meaning throughout a statute it is obvious that the expression 'rules of procedure' occurring in Clause (2) of Article 208 should be given the same meaning given to that expression in the marginal note to Clause (1). This is to say that as 3 matter of construction it may be held that the expression 'rules of procedure' means rules regulating the procedure and conduct of business of the Legislature. Doubtless, if in Clause (2) of Article 208 the words used were not 'rules of procedure' but 'rules regulating procedure' there may be some force in Mr. Mohapatra's contention and the omission of the words 'conduct of business' in that clause might affect the survival of those provisions dealing with the conduct of business in the O. L. A. Rules. But by using the expression 'rules of procedure' both in the marginal note to Clause (1) and in the body of Clause (2) of Article 208 the makers of the Constitution appear to have intended to convey one and the same idea by using a compendious expression. I am therefore unable to accept Mr. Mohapatra's contention that Rule 45 to 49 of the O. L. A. Rules have not survived after the commencement of the Constitution.

8. Mr. Mohapatra then urged that the reasons given by the Speaker for disallowing the two questions cannot stand even a moment's scrutiny because Rule 45 to 49 have no application at all to those questions. He tried to show that the first set of questions dealt with the conduct ofthe Government in allotting a house for Sri L. M. Patnaik, the previous Speaker of the O. L. A., and continuing the allotment though Sri L. M. Patnaik had ceased to be an officer of the Assembly. He further urged that a member of the Assembly was entitled to know whether a building was requisitioned by the Government and if so, what was the rent that was being paid for the same. According to him the Speaker has misunderstood the question and disallowed it on the assumption that it referred to the Speaker's conduct in making use of the building that was placed in his charge by the Government. The speaker disallowed this question on the ground that the question related to the Legislative Assembly Department which was under the control of the Speaker and not under the control of any Minister. He thought that inasmuch as the building referred to in the question had been placed at the disposal of the Legislative Assembly Department, any question about the present occupant of the building, the rent payable by him etc. would necessarily be a question affecting the conduct of the Speaker in respect of the Department under his charge. The Speaker has also relied on the well-known Parliamentary convention that questions dealing with matters within the jurisdiction of the Speaker should be addressed to him by private notice and not by public notice. (See May's Parliamentary Practice, p. 340).

9. Rule 47 of the O. L. A. Rules refers toquestions which may be addressed to a Minister in respect of the departments with which he is connected or of questions addressed to a non-official member. There is no provision in the Rules authorising a member to put questions relating to the conduct of a Speaker. It is true that the question that was disallowed was addressed to the Government. But the question was so worded as to suggest that the Speaker had done something wrong in allowing a house requisitioned for his purpose to be used by his predecessor-in-office after the latter had ceased to be a Speaker. Perhaps if the question had been drafted in a different form and Government had been asked about the circumstances under which the house was requisitioned, the rent actually paid to the owner of the house etc. the question may not be open to any objection. But if the Speaker thought that the way in which the question was drafted indicated that, in essence, it related to a department under his charge though ostensibly addressed to the Government and that it cast a reflection on his conduct and under this impression he disallowed it holding that the member was abusing his right of questioning (See Rule 49 of the O.L.A. Rules). It cannot be said that he acted in excess of the powers conferred on him by the Rules. Rule 49 confers on the Speaker the power to disallow any question if he considers that such question is an abuse of the right of questioning. His decision on this subject is final. Doubtless, he cannot deprive a member of the right of freedom of speech conferred by Article 194(1). But that freedom is subject to the other provisions of the Constitution and the Rules framed by the Legislature. Clause (3) of Article 194 says that the powers and privileges of a member of a Legislature are same as those of a member of the House of Commons. It has already been shown (May's Parliamentary Practice, p. 340) that in the House of Commons no questions dealing with matters within the jurisdiction of the Speaker are allowed to be put by any written or public notice. I cannot therefore hold that the Speaker acted in excess of the powers conferred on him by Rule 49 in disallowing this question.

10. The second question was, I think, rightly disallowed. It is of a general nature asking the Government to report about the action taken by them for fulfilment of the various promises held out in the March, April, May, June and July 1952 sessions of the Assembly. The question does not refer to any specified Minister in charge of a particular department nor does it indicate how the promises, if any, made by the various Ministers have close connection with one another. It may be that the Ministers in charge of the various departments might have made different promises and a general question of this type dealing with matters spread over a period of five months and referring to several departments of the Government offends against the provisions of Clause (7) of Rule 48. Mr. Mohapatra urged that the Secretary of the Legislative Assembly did not publish a full report of the proceeding's of the Assembly from March to July, 1952, though Rule 122(1) of the O. L. A. Rules required that the reports should be published as soon as practicable and that in the absence of any such report the applicant had no other alternative but to put a question of such a general nature. Here we are not concerned with the conduct of the Secretary of the Legislative Assembly in omitting to comply with the provisions of Rule 122(1). If the petitioner feels aggrieved by this conduct of the Secretary he may seek redress in a different manner. The limited point for our consideration at present is whether the Speaker's action in replying on Rule 48(7) of the O. L. A. Rules for disallowing the question put by the petitioner is immune from our jurisdiction in view of Article 212(2) of the Constitution. The special difficulties felt by the petitioner in framing the question in such a manner as to conform to the provisions of Rule 45 to 49 should be ventilated elsewhere.

11. I should further point out that the function of this Court in these masters is not to re-examine the questions with reference to the rules and to decide whether the Speaker's construction of the rules or his application of the rules to the questions that were placed before him were correct. The rules have conferred on him the power to decide these matters. Doubtless, he can claim immunity from the jurisdiction of the Court only if it could be shown that his action was 'in respect of' the exercise by him of those powers. It was pointed out by Lord Reid in -- 'Asher v. Seaford Court Estates Ltd', 1950 A.C. 508 at P. 535 (B) that ' 'in respect of is not a phrase of very precise meaning'. But in that case the House of Lords affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal in -- 'Seaford Court Estates Ltd. v. Asher', (1949) 2 K.B. 481 (C) where Asquith L.J. (at p. 496) observed that the phrase 'in respect of' was a very comprehensive expression. Again in -- 'Van Den Berghs Ltd. v. G.W. Rly. Co.', (1922) 38 TLR 14 at p. 18 (D), the same phrase was construed 'in a wide sense'. (See also -- 'Tatam v. Reeve', (1893) 10 Q.B. 44 (E); -- 'Cunard's Trustees v. Inland Revenue Commrs', (1946) 1 All ER 159 (F) and -- 'State of Tripura v. Province of East Bengal', AIR 1951 S. C. 23 at p. 27 Para 11 (G). There is thus sufficient authority for the view that the phrase 'in respect of' has a wider connotation than the word 'in' and so long as the Speaker's action is relatable to any of the provisions dealing with his powers for regulating the procedure and conduct of business in the Legislature the Court's jurisdiction would be ousted. An authority who is conferred jurisdiction to decide a question, has Jurisdictionto decide it either rightly or wrongly and so long as he is acting within his jurisdiction, he is immune from interference by a Court of Justice. The position might have been different if there was a mere colourable pretence of exercise off the powers by the Speaker. But the petitioner's allegations do not disclose any material for taking such a view. No allegation of fraud has been made nor is it even suggested that the Speaker's action was not bona fide. Mr. Mohapatra, relied on a decision of the Calcutta High Court reported in -- 'Haridas v. Bejoy Prosad', AIR 1946 Cal 121 (H), while construing Section 87, Government of India Act, 1935 (which is almost identical with Article 212 of the Constitution) and urged that the Court will have jurisdiction to interfere if the Speaker was acting in defiance of the provisions of the Statute and the rules made thereunder or if he was exercising some power which he did not possess. In this case, however, it has already been shown that the Speaker's action is relatable to certain provisions of the rules dealing with the conduct of business in the Legislature and the whole question turns on whether his construction of the rules and applying the same to the facts that were placed before him was right or wrong. It cannot be said that he acted in defiance of the provisions of the rules or else that he exercised some powers which he did not possess. The Calcutta decision has therefore no application to the present case.

12. There is another equally weighty reason why we should not assume jurisdiction in this case. The British Parliament has always claimed exclusive jurisdiction over its internal proceedings. Though there was some dispute between the Courts of England and the Parliament regarding their respective spheres of jurisdiction, the Courts have always recognised that the control of each House of Parliament over its internal proceedings is absolute and cannot be interfered with by the Courts (see May's Parliamentary Practice, p. 173). In -- 'Bradlaugh v. Gossett', (1884) 12 Q. B. D. p. 271 (I) it was observed :

'I think that the House of Commons is notsubject to the control of Her Majesty's Courtsin its administration of that part of the statute-law which has relation to its own internal proceedings. XXXXX

It seems be follow that the House of Commons has the exclusive power of interpretingthe statute, so far as the regulation of its ownproceedings within its own walls is concerned;and that, even if that interpretation should beerroneous, this Court has no power to interfere with it directly or indirectly.'

Lord Coleridge said in emphatic terms:

'What is said or done within the walls of Parliament cannot be enquired into in a Court ofLaw.'

Clause (3) of Article 194 of the Constitution confers on the House of a Legislature (during the interim period) the same powers, privileges and immunities which the House of Commons possesses. Therefore, the O. L. A. may justifiably claim immunity from interference by the Courts in the administration of those statutory rules which have relation to its own internal proceedings. It has already been shown that in accordance with established Parliamentary usage the giving of notice of questions is part of the proceedings in the Legislature. Therefore apart from the provisions of Clause (2) of Article 212, the Assembly may claim immunity by virtue of Clause (3) of Article194. It was however urged that the petition was filed against the Speaker as an officer of the Assembly and the Speaker's immunity was controlled by the provisions of Clause (2) of Article 212 and not by the Parliamentary immunities recognised in Clause (3) of Article 194. Though Clause (3) of Article 194 does not refer to the officers of the Legislature it refers to the privileges and immunities of a House of Legislature as distinct from the privileges and immunities of the members of the Legislature. A Legislature cannot act by itself in a body; it must act through its officers. It is difficult to conceive of the immunities of a Legislature as distinct from the immunities of the Speaker who is representative of the House in its powers, proceedings and dignity. (See May's Parliamentary Practice, P. 233). It appears to me therefore that the Speaker can claim immunity from interference by Courts in respect of the internal proceedings of the Legislature by virtue of Clause (3) of Article 194. It is however not necessary to decide in this case whether the immunity of a Speaker under Clause (3) of Article 194 is wider than the immunity under Clause (2) of Article 212 because I am satisfied that the Speaker's action is protected under Clause (2) of Article 212.

13. It will be interesting to compare the language of Clause (3) of Article 194 of the Constitution with the corresponding provisions contained in Sub-section (2) of Section 71, Government of India Act, 1935. The two provisions are quoted below for ready reference.

'Article 194(3). In other respects, the powers, privileges and immunities of a House of the Legislature of a State, and of the members and the committees of a House of such Legislature, shall be such as may from time to time be defined by the Legislature by law, and, until so defined, shall be those of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and of its members and committees, at the commencement of this Constitution.'

'Section 71(2). In other respects the privileges of members of a chamber of a Provincial Legislature shall be such as may from time to time be defined by Act of the Provincial Legislature, and, until so defined, shall be such as were immediately before the commencement of this part of this Act enjoyed by members of the Legislative Council of the Province.'

It will be noticed that under the Government of India Act there was no provision dealing with the privileges and immunities of a Legislature as distinct from the privileges of members of that Legislature. It was also not stated that the Legislature shall have the same privileges and immunities which the House of Commons possesses. Consequently, prior to the advent of the Constitution there may be sufficient justification in support of the argument that in ascertaining the extent of the jurisdiction of the Courts over the actions of the Speaker of a Legislature, the Court must confine itself to the express provisions of Section 87(2), Government of India Act (which corresponds to Article 212(2) of the Constitution) and that the immunity enjoyed by the Speaker of the House of Commons was no guide. The position has however changed radically after the advent of the Constitution and the conferment on the Legislature of a State the same powers, privileges and immunities which are enjoyed by the House of Commons. Doubtless, Clause (3) of Article 194 of the Constitution is subject to the other provisions of the Constitution and as happened in the well-known case of the Editor of 'the Blitz', -- 'Gunupati Keshavaram Reddy v. Nafisul Hasas and the State of U.P.(J), in the Supreme Court of India O. J. Petn.No. 75 of 1952, where any provision of fundamental rights is infringed Clause (3) of Article 194 will not be available. In the present case, however, no other provision of the Constitution is infringed.

14. For the aforesaid reason I am not satisfied that this Court has jurisdiction to interfere in this case. The petition is rejected.

Jagannadhadas, C.J.

15. I agree entirely with the judgment of my learned brother.

16. Though at first I was inclined to write aseparate judgment in view of the importance ofthe question involved, I have felt it unnecessaryto do so. The succinct and lucid reasoning ofmy learned brother leaves nothing that I canusefully


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