Chennai (PTI): Madras High Court on Friday stayed proceedings of the Privileges Committee of Tamil Nadu Assembly against AIADMK supremo and Leader of the Opposition Jayalalithaa on an issue raised by Local Administration Minister M K Stalin.
Justice K Suguna, while granting the interim stay, also ordered issue of notice, returnable by four weeks, to the Secretary, State Legislative Assembly, Chairman, Committee of Privileges and Stalin.
Stalin had raised the privilege issue on October 18 against Jayalalithaa for her allegation against him at a press meet on October 17, accusing him of plotting to kill her before the next Assembly elections.
Jayalalithaa contended that the issue was outside the purview of the functioning of a member in the Assembly and the Committee of Privileges had no jurisdiction to exercise its power.
Stating that like Stalin, she was also an MLA, Jayalalithaa submitted that expression of her view about a person outside the purview of the House only confined to an individual and could never be a privilege issue.
Stalin could not claim to be a person having complete immunity or privilege beyond the scope of Constitution nor could he claim that nothing could be stated against him, she added.
Friday November 2 2007 09:37 IST
Express News Service
CHENNAI: Former Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa has moved the Madras High Court to quash a demi-official letter dated October 20,2007 of the Legislative Assembly Secretariat, wherein it was stated that a privilege motion had been initiated against her based on the decision of the Committee of Privileges.
In her writ petition, Jayalalithaa submitted that the issue did not fall within the purview and jurisdiction of the Assembly secretary and the Privileges Committee chairman, since she had aired her apprehensions outside the Assembly at a press conference at the party headquarters on October 17.
There could not be any privilege motion or an issue beyond the constitutional limitations and the local administration minister M K Stalin, who had raised the privilege issue, had not got any immunity that was set apart from any comment or criticism.
Expression of her view about a person outside the purview of the House without adverting to anything about the House or his (Stalin) functional aspects in connection with the Assembly would not attract the privilege provisions.
The view centred around his conduct outside the purview of the Assembly. Incidentally, he happened to be a member of the Assembly, which per se was immaterial.
If the analogy of Stalin was conceded, it would lead to a disastrous situation. No member of the Legislature could be subjected to any criticism or comment by anyone lest it should become a privilege issue.
Such an obnoxious theory could never be accepted in a country where the rule of law was prevalent and a written Constitution was in existence, she said.
The issue raised by Stalin and its reference to the Privileges Committee was incorrect in law. An issue raised by an individual member under Rule 219 of the Assembly Rules could not suddenly culminate in a suo motu reference.
It appeared that the authorities concerned were confused with regard to the rule position vis-a-vis the ground realities and the legal position, Jayalalithaa contended.
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS