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What if an MP can’t take oath, what if he can’t see, or read? 7 interesting facts

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The newly elected Members of Parliament (MPs) will take oath on Monday, June 24, when the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha commences. After the two-day swearing-in ceremony of the 543 MPs of the lower house, the election of the new Lok Sabha Speaker will be held on June 26.

Who administer oath to Lok Sabha MPs?

As per the parliamentary practice, a Speaker Pro Tem is appointed by the President after every general elections from among the members of House to the newly elected members of the Lok Sabha.

The Speaker Pro Tem also is responsible to conduct the election of the new Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Taking oath is the first step in fulfilling the role of a parliamentarian though it has not been explicitly specified out in the Constitution.

However, there could be a possibility that some MPs may not take oath or affirmation due to illness or being unable to move from his place. Let’s look at what happens if an MP can’t take oath

1 – Those elected MP/MPs, who do not make and subscribe the oath or affirmation of the first day, can do so on any subsequent day in the same session or a later session at the commencement of a sitting of the House.

2 – The MP/MPs, on request, has been allowed to take oath during the inter-session period in the Speaker’s Chamber.

3 – In the case of a member who is ill and is unable to move from his place, the oath or affirmation may be made by him at the place he is occupying the House, if he desires so. In such a case, the officer at the Table take the relevant oath or affirmation card to the member.

4 – As per the Constitution, if an elected MP does not attend Parliament for 60 days, their seat can be declared vacant. Courts have used this on ground to let MPs in jail to take an oath in Parliament. Once they take the oath, he will have to return to the jail.

5 – If a member could not read the oath form, given to him at his seat to sign, due to blindness, another member reads out the oath which was repeated by the former.

6 – If a person ceases to be a member as a result of an order of court in an election petition and another is declared elected in his place, the former has to make and subscribe the oath or affirmation again, if the order declaring his election void is subsequently reversed by the higher court. In such a situation, the membership of the other member is automatically cancelled.

7 – The names of the members who are not present for the swearing in the first round are called again at the end.

What oath does MPs take?

The Third Schedule of the Constitution contains the text of the parliamentary oath. It reads, “I, A.B., having been elected (or nominated) a member of the House of People do swear in the name of God/ solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India and that I will faithfully discharge the duty upon which I am about to enter.”

Why oath is significant for MPs?

An MP has to take oath as prescribed in the Constitution (Article 99) to get the authority to debate and vote in the Lok Sabha.

By just winning the election and starting the term does not automatically enable him to participate in the House proceedings.

As per the Constitution, if an MP participates or vote in House proceedings with taking an oath, he will have to pay a penalty of Rs 500.

How do MPs take the oath?

The MPs are first required to submit their election certificate to the Lok Sabha staff. Parliament added this safeguard after an incident in 1957, in which a mentally unsound individual posed as an MP and took the oath on the floor of the House.

Along with the certificate, the MP also has to mention the language in which he desires to make the oath or affirmation.

The member faces the hair while making the oath and then goes up to and shakes hands with the Speaker Pro Tem, who then gives the member permission to take his seat in the House.

The member then signs the Roll of Members and thereafter, takes his seat in the House

In which languages MPs can take oath?

MPs can make the oath in English or in any of the 22 languages – Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

Nearly half the MPs take their oath in Hindi or English. In the previous two Lok Sabha, Sanskrit has become a popular language in which MPs have taken oaths.

When an elected lawmaker becomes member of House & starts receiving salary?

A person becomes a member of the House from the date on which he is declared elected by the Returning Officer. He starts receiving salary as MP from the date of publication of the notification of the Election Commission constituting the House.

The MP is entitled to ask for leave of absence from the sittings of the House to guard against vacation of his seat.

He can also resign his seat before swearing-in and taking in the House.


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