As reported by Arvind Singh Bisht in the TNN, 4 May 2008
LUCKNOW: Amid a raging national debate over the Right to Information Act, the UP assembly has triggered a new controversy by seeking to initiate contempt of the House proceedings against the State Information Commission (SIC) and petitioners who sought information.
Speaker Sukhdeo Rajbhar took a decision to this effect recently after an all-party meeting. CM Mayawati also attended the meeting. The issue was raised in the assembly on February 15, 2008. In fact, Rajbhar has only ratified his predecessor Mata Prasad Pandey's decision. The row is set to give a new dimension to the issue, after Parliament and the judiciary took conflicting stands on the subject.
The assembly has crossed swords with the commission for the issuance of its notices to furnish information sought by a couple of petitioners under the RTI Act. While one petitioner, Romesh Tiwari, had sought to know — (a) Whether an MLA could bid for a contract? (b) What are the provisions for this? and (c) Whether an MLA becomes liable to lose his or her membership on the basis of the profit earned through the contract? Another petitioner, Motilal had sought information about the proceedings of the Petition Committee of the 13th assembly.
When no information was furnished, the petitioners approached the SIC which issued summons to the assembly.
The assembly took a serious exception of the Commission's notice. It has been argued that Rule 84 of the procedure and conduct of business for the assembly lays down that "no legal proceedings within the precincts of the House will be served without the prior permission of the Speaker". Its violation would attract provisions of the contempt of the House, senior Vidhan Sabha official said.