Vote-for-bribe: ‘Disagree with Narasimha Rao case verdict,’ says SC | Top quotes | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Vote-for-bribe: ‘Disagree with PV Narasimha Rao case verdict,’ says Supreme Court | Top 5 quotes

ByVaishnawi Sinha
Mar 04, 2024 12:42 PM IST

The Supreme Court overruled the historic verdict of 1998 verdict which allowed MPs and MLAs to go scot free in bribery and corruption cases.

A seven-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that an MP or MLA cannot claim immunity from prosecution on a charge of bribery in connection with the vote or speech in the Parliament or Legislative Assembly.

Supreme Court of India (HT File)
Supreme Court of India (HT File)

During the hearing on Monday, the apex court bench said “corruption and bribery by members of the legislatures erode probity in public life” and cannot be shielded under the principles of parliamentary privilege.

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The Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, ruled that lawmakers in the country will not have immunity from prosecution for taking a bribe to make a speech or vote in the Parliament.

Read more: PM Modi lauds Supreme Court's ‘great judgment’ that overruled 1998 verdict

With today's verdict, the Supreme Court overruled the 1998 PV Narasimha ruling which held that MPs and MLAs who take bribes for voting and asking questions in the House enjoy immunity as per the Constitution.

Supreme Court verdict on votes-for-bribe: Top quotes

  1. "We disagree with the judgment in PV Narasimha case which grants immunity to legislator for alleged bribery for making a speech or vote in a particular manner in the House that has wide ramifications," Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said.

2. “A member indulging in bribery indulges in a criminal act which is not essential for casting a vote or giving a speech in the legislature,” the CJI said. He added that the interpretation of PV Narasimha judgment is contrary to Articles 105 and 194.

3. Saying that bribery and corruption can have wide ramifications, the Supreme Court bench said, “Such a claim to immunity fails to fulfill the two-fold test, that the claim is tethered to the collective functioning of the House and that it is necessary to the discharge of the essential duties of a legislator.”

Read more: No immunity from prosecution if MP/MLA takes bribe to vote or make speeches: SC

4. “Bribery is not rendered immune under Articles 105(2) and the corresponding provision of Article 194(2) because a member engaging in bribery commits a crime which is not essential to the casting of the vote or the ability to decide on how the vote should be cast. The same principles apply to bribery in connection with the speech in the House or a committee,” the bench said.

5. The bench further clarified, “It does not matter whether the vote is cast in the agreed direction or if the vote is cast at all. The offense of bribery is complete at that point in time.”

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