Raja was punished to undergo 3 days simple imprisonment by an order of a legislature for breach of its privileges. He was not given an opportunity to explain his case. He approaches the High Court to quash the order. Decide.

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Answer

Raja can approach the High Court to quash the order on the ground that he was not given an opportunity to explain his case.

 

As per Art. 194 of the Indian Constitution, each House of Parliament or Assembly has power to punish its member for contempt or breach of privilege.  A member may be suspended or expelled from the House, or may be sentenced to jail.

 

It is a question to be decided whether the Legislature is the sole and exclusive judge of its privileges and whether it is competent to punish a person for its contempt and whether the High Court/Supreme Court has power to question the same.

 

In Keshava Singh v. U.P. State Assembly AIR 1965 SC 745, the Supreme Court in its  advisory opinion held that the courts can examine the validity of detention of a person sentenced by the Assembly under a general or unspeaking warrant.

 

It clearly held that whereas under Art.194(3) a legislature can determine its own privileges, the judiciary can still examine the question of mala fide or arbitrariness in the exercise of the power.

Last Updated On January 29, 2018
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