Congress fails in privilege notice bid against Arun Jaitley

New Delhi(PTI): Congress’s bid to bring a breach of privilege notice against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley alleging that he had shown Rajya Sabha in poor light has met with failure.

Arun Jaitley

Party leader Madhusudan Mistry said he has been told by the Rajya Sabha secretariat that its Chairman, Vice President Hamid Ansari, has “not found it fit” for referring the matter to the Privileges Committee.
In July, Mistry, a party general secretary, had submitted a notice charging that Jaitley’s remarks that a directly- elected House (Lok Sabha) was being repeatedly questioned by the indirectly-elected House, that is Rajya Sabha, had showed the Upper House in poor light.

Through such remarks, Jaitley has “seriously, deliberately and wilfully” questioned the authority of the Upper House and lowered its dignity, Mistry had told the Rajya Sabha Chairman. He had claimed that the Finance Minister made the remarks on May 15 while responding to a question on Opposition criticism of the government’s bypassing of legislative agenda by terming a Bill as a money Bill.

“He (Jaitley) cited Article 110 of the Constitution, which defines a money Bill, and said it is a serious question in a parliamentary democracy wherein wisdom of directly-elected House is questioned repeatedly by the indirectly-elected House,” Mistry had contended. Jaitley had stood by his remarks, insisting it was a “legitimate political comment” and not breach of privilege.

The ruling BJP-led NDA does not have a majority in Rajya Sabha and is facing problems getting key Bills passed in the Upper House. It has been accusing the Congress of playing politics of obstruction, a charge being denied by the opposition party.