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What Parliamentary panel plans to do with unruly MPs
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Speaker refers cases of 32 MPs to Privileges Committee

Somnath Chatterjee: 'Zero hour is torture'

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May 02, 2008 16:49 IST

A key Parliamentary committee, entrusted with the ticklish task of going into the 'disorderly conduct' of 32 Members of Parliament, said it will not approach the issue with any pre-conceived notion of meting out punishment.

"Punishment is not the central theme. There is no pre-conceived idea whether the punishment should be meted out or not," Lok Sabha Privileges Committee Chairman V Kishore Chandra Deo told PTI.

Deo said the very fact that Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has referred the issue to the committee rather than taking action on his own showed that he wanted to sort out the matter by going to the root.

He pointed that there have been provisions under which the Speaker can take action on his own.

This is the first time in the history of Parliament that the Speaker has referred such an issue to the Privileges Committee.

Observing that the Committee would hold its first meeting 'as soon as possible', he said that members whose matters have been referred would be called before the committee.

"This will not be done with an idea of pointing out a finger but to zero in on various causes and reasons that led to disorderly scenes," he said.

Stung by the Speaker's action, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday sought to put the onus of smooth conduct of Parliament on the government. At the same time, the main opposition party refused to react on the Speaker's action, but said it will raise it at the appropriate forum at the appropriate time.

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