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House Privileges Not Applicable To Activities Other Than Legislative Functions : Salve Submits For Facebook VP
Top StoriesHouse Privileges Not Applicable To Activities Other Than Legislative Functions : Salve Submits For Facebook VP Nupur Thapliyal27 Jan 2021 8:02 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Wednesday heard Facebook India Vice President, Ajit Mohan’s challenge to the two summons issued by the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee “Peace and Harmony” asking him to appear to look into the role of fake news behind the Delhi riots of February 2020.The two summons were issued in September 2020 demanding Mr. Mohan to appear before the committee for testifying on…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Wednesday heard Facebook India Vice President, Ajit Mohan’s challenge to the two summons issued by the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee “Peace and Harmony” asking him to appear to look into the role of fake news behind the Delhi riots of February 2020.The two summons were issued in September 2020 demanding Mr. Mohan to appear before the committee for testifying on the role or complicity of Facebook officials in Delhi riots. On September 23, the Court had recorded the submission made on behalf of the Chairman of the Assembly Panel that no coercive action will be taken against the Ajit Mohan for failing to appear.Senior Advocate Harish Salve appeared on behalf of Mr. Ajit Mohan today. Salve, in the hearing before the same bench last week, submitted that internet intermediaries including Facebook can only be controlled by the Central Government and not the Legislative Assembly. He also submitted that Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony, under the realm of privileges of the House, cannot summon third persons or compel appearances of non members.In the hearing before the Supreme Court today, Salve continued his submissions on the primacy of privileges enjoyed by the Houses and the evolution of the concept of parliamentary privilege.In submitting so, Salve had relied heavily on the judgment of Amrinder Singh v. Special Committee, Punjab Vidhan Sabha (2010) wherein the Supreme Court while dealing with a similar proposition observed that “Parliamentary Privileges as those fundamental rights which the House and its Members possess so as to enable them to carry out their functions effectively and efficiently. Some of the parliamentary privileges thus preceded Parliament itself. They are, therefore, rightly described by Sir Erskine May as “fundamental rights” of the Houses as against the prerogatives of the Crown, the authority of ordinary courts of law and the special rights of the House of Lords.” Salve therefore submitted that the word “obstruction” has to be construed while interpreting the meaning of parliamentary privileges. “These are not powers to bully people to appear before the Committee”, he submitted. Furthermore, he submitted that there is a balancing of rights between the Crown and the Parliament which is where the concept of Parliamentary Privileges originates. He thereafter began to submit how the functions performed by the Committee of Peace and Harmony were different than a constitutional function. He submitted: “Every function of a member of assembly is not a constitutional function. If an MP leading protests is manhandled by the police, it is atrocious. But is it a breach of privilege? Certainly not. If a person complains to an MLA about a hospital, & if the MLA calls the doctor, & if the doctor bangs the phone , will it be breach of privilege? If a collector behaves rudely to an MP, will it be breach of privilege? Certainly not. Privilege is something which is necessary for a Member to do his legislative function and nothing beyond that. It will not extend to every aspect of your public life.” According to Salve, the Committee was not conferred upon the function of considering a law and that it might be a good social work for having a panel to reach out the Delhi Riots victims. However, according to Salve, the functions performed by the Committee were not legislative functions. “You may set up committees for all sorts of works, for good measures, but you don’t carry your privileges. Because privilege is not a gift.” Salve submitted. At this juncture, a clarification was sought by Justice Hrishikesh Roy wherein he said “You mean to say there is a ‘lakshman rekha’ that privileges can only go that far and not beyond.” Delete Justice Roy : If it was legislative committee, it will have privileges. In the notice constituting this committee, it was said that the panel will have privileges. What was the need to say that?Salve : Privilege is not a gift which the Speaker can give.#Facebook— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) January 27, 2021 Thereafter, the hearing concluded by Salve submitting that there is a need for codification on the law of parliamentary privileges as leaving them undefined will be problematic. The bench will continue hearing the matter tomorrow i.e. 28th January, 2021.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
The London protests were emulated across the United States as matches kicked off.In Foxborough, around 15 members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots kneeled during the national anthem.Star quarterback Tom Brady linked arms with his team-mates. Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a friend of Trump who also donated to his campaign, issued a statement saying he was “deeply disappointed” by Trump’s remarks on Friday.In Chicago, the Pittsburgh Steelers chose to remain in their locker room during the anthem ahead of their clash with the Bears. Khan later issued a statement decrying Trump’s recent comments as “divisive and contentious.”“That’s why it was important for us, and personally for me, to show the world that even if we may differ at times, we can and should be united in the effort to become better as people and a nation,” Khan said. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who is black, said the decision was not intended to be disrespectful but rather calculated to “remove ourselves from the circumstance.”“These are very divisive times for our country,” Tomlin told CBS television. “For us as a football team, it’s about remaining solid.”A lone Steelers player — former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva — stood just outside the player’s tunnel to observe the anthem.In Detroit meanwhile, the singer of the national anthem Rico LaVelle dramatically dropped to his knee at the end of his rendition.At least eight Detroit Lions players were seen kneeling during the anthem while others linked arms ahead of their game with the Atlanta Falcons.The Falcons players including team owner Arthur Blank also joined arms.More than 20 Cleveland Browns players kneeled during the anthem for their game against the Colts in Indianapolis.Share on: WhatsApp Among those linking arms with the players was Jacksonville owner Shad Khan, who donated $1 million to Trump’s election campaign in 2016. Los Angeles, United States | AFP | A wave of protests swept National Football League games on Sunday after US President Donald Trump called for players demonstrating against racial inequality during the national anthem to be fired.Dozens of players at several games across the league chose to kneel during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” in the largest such demonstration since the protests first began in 2016.The first mass protest took place at the NFL’s London game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens at Wembley Stadium.A large number of players from both teams knelt during the playing of the anthem while others stood with their arms interlocked.