SC to re-examine verdict on MPs’ immunity from prosecution for taking bribe to make speech, vote in Parliament

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to re-examine its 1998 judgment granting MPs and MLAs immunity from prosecution for taking bribe to make a speech or vote in Parliament or state legislatures.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud said it will set up a 7-judge bench to examine the matter afresh.

In 2019, a bench headed by then chief justice Ranjan Gogoi had referred to a 5-judge bench the crucial question, noting it had “wide ramification” and was of “substantial public importance”.

The three-judge bench had then said it will revisit its verdict in the sensational Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) bribery case on an appeal filed by Sita Soren, JMM MLA from Jama constituency in Jharkhand.

The top court’s five-judge bench had in its 1998 verdict in the PV Narasimha Rao versus CBI case held that parliamentarians had immunity under the Constitution against criminal prosecution for any speech made and vote cast inside the House.

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