The world heard Rahul's speech, then from where and how were the words removed? Know the parliamentary rule for removal

Ananya Shroff
5 Min Read

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi has written a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on the removal of some parts of his speech in the Lok Sabha from the proceedings of the House. Rahul Gandhi is the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. While participating in the discussion on the motion of thanks on the President's address, he had said some things which were removed from the proceedings of the House. This process is called expungement in English. Let us know why which part is removed from the speech of any member in Parliament and who has the right to decide this.

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Know what is the rule of expunging

The rules of parliamentary procedure mention the rules for deletion of words used in the speeches of MPs in the proceedings of Parliament under the heading 'Proceedings of the House, Parliamentary Papers and Custody of Papers'. The second point of this heading is 'Deletion of Words'. It states that if in the opinion of the Speaker any word or words have been used in the debate which are abusive or indecent or unparliamentary or indecent, the Speaker may use his discretion to order that such word or words be deleted from the proceedings of the House.

If we look at the words of the rule, it says that only those words of the speech are removed from the proceedings of Parliament which defame someone, are against etiquette, are unparliamentary and indecent. It is also clear from the rule that the right to decide to remove such words from the proceedings of the House lies with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha in the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha in the Rajya Sabha.

See what is in the rule book of Parliament

In fact, the speeches of the members of the House are published. For this, there is a heading titled 'Preparation and Publication of Proceedings' in the rule book of Parliament. It says, 'The Secretary-General will get a complete report of the proceedings of each meeting of the House prepared and will publish it as soon as possible in such format and manner as the Speaker may direct from time to time.' Meaning, parliamentary proceedings are published as soon as possible as per the instructions of the Speaker.

According to the rule, the words that are deleted from the member's speech at the time of publication are also published, but an asterisk is placed before them. 'Indications in proceedings regarding deleted words' states, 'An asterisk shall be placed on the deleted portion in the proceedings of the House…'

Responsibility for maintaining order in Parliament

Earlier, the rule titled 'Maintenance of Order' stated that the Speaker in Lok Sabha and the Chairman in Rajya Sabha will be responsible for maintaining order in the House during proceedings. It also stated that the presiding officers will also have the necessary powers to maintain order in the House. The rule states, 'Order shall be maintained by the Speaker and the Speaker shall have all necessary powers for the purpose of enforcing his decisions.'

Rahul Gandhi gave his reaction to the media on the removal of some parts of his speech. He said that those things may have disappeared from Narendra Modi's world, but they cannot be removed from people's minds. He has written in his letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker, 'I am shocked to see the way a large part of my speech has been removed from the proceedings under the guise of expulsion. Removing my well-thought-out comments from the record is against the principles of parliamentary democracy.'

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