Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday said that MPs need to exercise their right to free speech with responsibility as Parliament cannot be allowed to become an "akhara" (fighting arena), days after he asked the privileges committee to probe disruptions created by 12 opposition members in Rajya Sabha.
Dhankhar, who is also the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, said the Constitution has given parliamentarians the freedom of speech but that comes with a responsibility. It is a privilege that MPs enjoy as no court cases can be filed against them for anything said in Parliament, he said.
"This privilege comes with very heavy responsibility. The responsibility is that everyone speaking in Parliament must do after due thought and consideration. It cannot be based on unclarified situations," he said while addressing the 61st convocation of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) here. According to him, Parliament cannot be allowed to become a fighting ground (akhara) where there is free fall of information and that MPs must take responsibility for whatever they speak.
Parliament is meant for discussion. Instead, it is being disrupted constantly and many have expressed anguish over such debates, he said and urged MPs to introspect. The second leg of the Budget session of Parliament will commence from March 13.
Recently, Dhankar had asked a parliamentary committee to investigate the alleged breach of privilege by 12 Congress and AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) MPs for repeatedly entering the Well of the House, shouting slogans, and obstructing its proceedings during the first leg of the budget session.