Context: Recently, Mahua Moitra’s (MP, Lok Sabha) matter has been referred to Lok Sabha Ethics committee. She has been accused of accepting money to ask questions in the house.
- Rajya Sabha: Origin of ethics committee in Rajya Sabha can be traced to NN Vohra Committee in 1996, based on suggestions of Vohra Committee, the General-Purpose Committee in 1997 proposed for a Committee regarding the conduct of members of Rajya Sabha. Accordingly, a 9 member Ethics committee of Rajya Sabha was constituted by Chairman in 1997.
- Lok Sabha: Origin of ethics committee in Lok Sabha can be traced to a resolution adopted at Presiding Officers conference in 1996. However, the first Ethics committee in Lok Sabha was constituted by the then Speaker Shri G.M.C. Balayogi in 2000.
Purpose behind setting up of Ethics committees
- To oversee the moral and ethical conduct of the Members; and
- To examine the cases referred to it with reference to ethical and other misconduct of the Members.
Comparison between Ethics committee of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha
|Criteria||Ethics committee of Rajya Sabha||Ethics committee of Lok Sabha|
|Composition and tenure||Committee consists of ten members.Committee holds office until a new committee is appointed, the casual vacancies arising are filled by Chairman from time to time.||Committee consists of not more than 15 members which are nominated by speaker.Committee holds office for a term not exceeding one year.|
|Functions||(a) To oversee the moral and ethical conduct of members.|
(b) To prepare a Code of Conduct for members and to suggest amendments or additions to the Code from time to time in the form of reports to the Council.
(c) To examine cases concerning the alleged breach of the Code of Conduct by members as also cases concerning allegations of any other ethical misconduct of members.
(d) To tender advice to members from time to time on questions involving ethical standards either Suo Moto or on receiving specific requests.
|(a) To examine every complaint relating to unethical conduct of a member of Lok Sabha referred to it by the Speaker and make such recommendations as it may deem fit.|
(b) To formulate a Code of Conduct for members and suggest amendments or additions to the Code of Conduct from time to time.
|Powers||Code of conduct to regulate the conduct of members has been brought out for members of Rajya Sabha. Ethics Committee examines the moral and ethical conduct of members of Rajya Sabha based on this code.Rajya Sabha maintains a register of interests of its members which allows the Ethics Committee of Rajya Sabha to check for possible conflict of interest of members of Rajya Sabha.||Code of conduct for members of Lok Sabha is not present.|
No such record is maintained by Lok Sabha, member has to state their own interests to Chairman.
Since, the Code of Conduct and Register of interests is not present. The Ethics Committee of Lok Sabha is relatively less effective in maintaining the moral and ethical conduct of the members of Lok Sabha.