No immunity for MPs, MLAs taking bribe to vote, make speech in House: SC

MPs and MLAs taking bribes to vote or make a speech in the House are not immune from prosecution, the Supreme Court said on Monday in a landmark, unanimous verdict that overrules its 1998 judgment protecting such lawmakers.

Observing that bribery is not protected by parliamentary privileges, a seven-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud held that a five-judge bench’s interpretation in the 1998 verdict in the JMM bribery case was contrary to Articles 105 and 194 of the Constitution.

Articles 105 and 194 deal with the powers and privileges of MPs and MLAs in the Parliament and the legislative assemblies.

“Corruption and bribery by members of the legislatures erode probity in public life,” the CJI, who read the operative part of the verdict, said while pronouncing the verdict today.

The bench also comprised Justices A S Bopanna, M M Sundresh, P S Narasimha, J B Pardiwala, Sanjay Kumar and Manoj Misra.

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