Privileges Committee of RS finds no breach of privilege of YSRCP MP V Vijayasai Reddy

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New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) The Privileges Committee of the Rajya Sabha has found no breach of privilege of YSRCP MP V Vijayasai Reddy after he complained of being allegedly manhandled at Visakhapatnam airport.

In its 70th report to the Upper House, the committee headed by Deputy Chairman Harivansh recommended that the government should ensure strict complaince of guidelines by all officials, especially the police, while dealing directly with MPs.

It also recommended training programs to sensitise police authorities and other officials and for them to exercise utmost caution while dealing with the members of Parliament.

'The committee has found no breach of privilege of the House or of Shri V Vijayasai Reddy, Member, Rajya Sabha involved in the matter,' the panel said in its report.

'As regards the complaint of V Vayasai Reddy about alleged manhandling by the police, though the committee could not find any conclusive evidence to substantiate the same, yet at the same time, the committee cannot rule it out completely,' it said.

It said it was pained to note that despite government guidelines for dealing with members of Parliament, the incidents of law enforcing agencies not dealing properly with MPs have been happening often.

'It has been time and again observed by the committee that although such instances do not come under the privilege jurisdiction, one cannot deny the duty of a legislator being peoples' representative to participate in protest marches or dharna to highlight the problems of the public.

'While acknowledging that maintenance of law and order is paramount for the police personnel, they should not disrespect or misbehave with the public representative,'the panel said.

In the present case, the committee noted that the legal opinion furnished by the state police authorities points to the fact that they 'seemingly overstepped their brief' by resorting to prohibitory action inside the airport premises.

Reddy had alleged that he along with others were allegedly mandhandled and abused inside the airport by the police, when he had gone there from Hyderabad to participate in a dharna on January 26, 2017.

'The committee, therefore, reiterates its observations as contained in its earlier reports that the police must exercise restraint while dealing with members of Parliament and treat them with utmost dignity and circumspection,' it said.

In the opinion of the committee, the incidents of ill treatment/misbehaviour with MPs by police personnel happen at the government instructions, for they do not percolate down the line amongst the rank and file of the police personnel working on the ground.

'The committee, therefore, recommends that the government should ensure strict compliance of its guidelines in this regard by all the officials, particularly the police officials who have the occasion to interact directly with the members of Parliament during any dharna/protests or otherwise.

'The committee recommends that such instructions/guidelines be reiterated by Government of India at regular intervals for their observance by officials of state governments and other agencies and their compliance should also be regularly monitored,'it said.

'The committee also recommends that suitable awareness/training programs should be conducted frequently to sensitize the police authorities and other officials to exercise utmost caution and be extremely circumspect while dealing with the Members of Parliament,'the panel said. PTI SKC AAR AAR