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Panel to probe why MPs misbehave

Source: PTI
June 08, 2008 21:32 IST
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What makes a Member of Parliament resort to misconduct? This is an issue that a Committee going into the misconduct of members, plans to take up soon.
A member of the Committee said that unless the root cause of the misconduct is found, a remedy is not possible. Citing an instance, the member said that members were forced to use their lung power in order to reach out to their electorate.
The belief, right or wrong, that the media takes note of a member only if he or she indulges in disorderly behaviour, needed to be gone into deeply. Another reason could be the emphasis of television news channels to project uproar and pandemonium in Parliament.
A study also needed to be undertaken how much incidence of disorderly behaviour has increased since the direct telecast of proceedings of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
When the first such telecast had begun, a senior leader had frowned upon turning the House into a 'studio'. The member said that such a study was necessary to ensure that Parliament continued to be a relevant institution in a democratic set up. Such a study could also involve seeking the opinion of all political parties on the issue of misconduct as also asking them to suggest ways to make the proceedings a smooth affair.
The committee headed by senior Congress MP V Kishore Chandra Deo has already ruled against codification of Parliamentary privileges. It has recommended a broad framework of code of conduct for members.
One of its key recommendations is a register of members interest and guideline for resolution of conflict of interest. This was necessary at a time when the issue of conflict of interest gaining prominence in the post-liberalisation era.
The current Lok Sabha has witnessed expulsion of as many as 10 members in the wake of the cash-for-query scam and has also been rocked by the Memeber of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme scam. Besides one of its members has been accused of human trafficking.
The expulsions and the sting operations were unprecedented in the Parliamentary history of the country.
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