Proceedings in Parliament *

The term "Proceedings in Parliament" or the words "anything said in Parliament" have not so far been expressly defined by courts of law. However, as technical term, these words have been widely interpreted to mean any formal action, usually a decision taken by the House in its collective capacity, including the forms of business in which the House takes action, and in the whole process, the principal part of which is debate, by which it reaches a decision. The term thus connotes more than mere speeches and debates.

The term "Proceedings in Parliament" covers both the asking of a question and the giving of written notice of such question motion, Bill or any other matter 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. [ Jai Singh Rathi v. State of Haryana, A.I.R. 1970, Punjab and Haryana 379; see also, Kerala High Court Case, op. cit. ]

In this connection the Orissa High Court, inter alia, observed:

It seems thus a settled Parliamentary usage that "Proceedings in Parliament" are not limited to the proceedings during the actual session of Parliament but also include some preliminary steps such as given 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 Parliament and allowed or disallowed, as the case may be. [ In Godavaris Misra v. Nandakishore Das, A.I.R. 1953, Orissa 111. ]

Under the Constitution as already stated, the validity of any `proceedings in parliament cannot be called in question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure'. [ Art. 122(1). ]

[*Source: Page No. 212 Practice and Procedure of Parliament. By Dr. Subhash C. Kashyap; Fourth Edition 1991. Published for Lok Sabha Secretariat ]