PSC report is a public document that allows public access to parliamentary proceedings
Can the court refer to and place reliance upon the reports of the Parliamentary standing committees (PSC)?
The five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court in the context of the two public interest litigations (PILs) on the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines by Kalpana Mehta and ors v Union of India (Writ Petition (Civil) No. 558 of 2012) and Sama-Resource Group for Women and Health and ors v Union of India (Writ Petition (Civil) No. 921 of 2013) on May 9, 2018, held that under Article 105(2), a member of Parliament couldn’t be held liable for anything said in Parliament or in any committee.
Similarly, any reports submitted by MPs were also protected by the said Article 105(2). The bench held that placing reliance on PSC reports in court proceedings does not violate the parliamentary privileges under Article 145(3) of the Constitution.
The court indicated that the PSC report is a public document that allows public access to parliamentary proceedings and thereby a step towards governance. Further, the court referred to section 57 (4) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, which permits the judiciary to take notice of parliamentary proceedings.
(Medtalks with Dr KK Aggarwal)
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
Vice President CMAAO