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SC rules MPs, MLAs facing bribery charges not immune from prosecution, overturns 1998 Narasimha Rao verdict
Bribery Charges
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

SC rules MPs, MLAs facing bribery charges not immune from prosecution, overturns 1998 Narasimha Rao verdict

| @indiablooms | 04 Mar 2024, 11:49 am

New Delhi/IBNS: In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled MPs and MLAs are not immune from prosecution in cases pertaining to receiving bribes for votes or speech, overruling the 1998 Narasimha Rao verdict, media reports said.

A seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court said MPs and MLAs are liable to be prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

"An MP/MLA can't claim immunity from prosecution on a charge of bribery in connection with the vote or speech in the legislative house," the bench said as quoted by Hindustan Times.

"To give any privilege unconnected to the functioning of Parliament or legislature will lead to creating a class that enjoys unchecked exemptions from the operation of law of the land," it added.

In 1998, a five-judge Constitution bench had ruled in the PV Narasimha Rao-CBI case that MPs and MLAs were immune under the Constitution for any speech he/she made or cast vote in the House.

More than two decades later, the matter was raised in the Supreme Court after then JMM chief Sibu Soren's daughter-in-law Sita Soren had questioned her prosecution in a bribery case during the 2012 Rajya Sabha elections.

In March, 2019, the Supreme Court had ordered the constitution of a larger bench to rule whether MPs and MLAs facing bribery charges are immune from prosecution or not.

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