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Part IV Separation of Powers, Ch.17 Legislature: privileges and process

Sidharth Chauhan

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution

Edited By: Sujit Choudhry, Madhav Khosla, Pratap Bhanu Mehta

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 27 September 2020

This chapter examines how the exercise of legislative privileges is treated in the Indian Constitution. More specifically, it considers whether the exercise of legislative privileges by members of the Indian Parliament is justiciable and if so, to what extent. While the courts have ruled in favour of limited judicial scrutiny, the broader principle of ‘separation of powers’ invites further debate. This article begins with an overview of the justifications for legislative privileges and prominent judgments related to their scope, along with some instances where their invocation has become the subject of political controversy but not litigated. In particular, it discusses the Indian Supreme Court’s lack of a clear position on press freedoms vs legislative privileges, as well as legal questions concerning the validity of invoking privileges against acts committed outside the legislatures and the permissibility of judicial review over them.

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