Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday clarified that Members of Parliament do not enjoy any immunity from arrest in criminal cases during the session. Naidu also said that the members cannot avoid summons issued by law enforcement agencies. Naidu made this remark in response to the Congress members saying that the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge has been insulted as he was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning on Thursday during the working hours of the House.
Congress members are protesting against the alleged misuse of investigating agencies. Naidu said that members have a wrong notion that they have a privilege from action by agencies while Parliament is in session.
"Members of Parliament enjoy certain privileges so they can perform their duties without any hindrances. However, in criminal cases, Members of Parliament are not on a different footing than a common citizen. Members of Parliament do not enjoy any immunity from being arrested in a criminal case during the session or otherwise," Naidu clarified. He advised the members not to cite House duty as reasons to avoid appearing before any investigating agency if one called upon to do so.