Home » Rights activist Babloo Loitongbam is the first Manipuri to decline apology with the State Assembly privilege committee

Rights activist Babloo Loitongbam is the first Manipuri to decline apology with the State Assembly privilege committee

by IT Web Admin
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IT Desk
Human Rights activist Babloo Loitongbam has now become the first Manipuri to decline apology to the Committee on Privileges & Ethics of Manipur Legislative Assembly by standing firm with what he had said. The right activist used the word ‘Mithbong mitambal’ while describing the attitude of the elected representatives of the state assembly secretariat during an interview which went live on Impact TV programme ‘Manung Hutna’ on July 22, 2014. Using of the very term was seriously noted by MLA I Ibohalbi, and the matter was put up to the notice of the Assembly house and the speaker of the house forwarded the matter to the privilege committee to find out if there is any breach of privilege to what he had stated in the local TV interview.  The Committee on Privileges & Ethics of Manipur Legislative Assembly summoned him on July 27, 2014 to clarify on the matter but Babloo did not turn up and submitted a written statement.
For the second time, Babloo was summoned to appear before the committee on January 29, 2015 but again he defied, later, on February 9, 2015, he appeared before the committee and said that he had intentionally used the term ‘Mithibong Mitambal’ with motive to uphold the integrity of the house.
On hearing it the member of the Committee on Privileges & Ethics of Manipur Legislative Assembly along with the Chairman were left in stun having no other choice but to initiate an action against him. What is more interesting is assuming the mode of punishment which can be awarded to Mr. Babloo Loitongbam. 
There have been several such cases of breach of privilege . In 1967, two people were held to be in contempt of Rajya Sabha, for having thrown leaflets from the visitors’ gallery.
In 1983, one person was held in breach for shouting slogans and throwing chappals from the visitors’ gallery.
The house can ensure attendance of the offending person. The person can be given a warning and let go or be sent to prison as the case may be.
In the case of throwing leaflets and chappal, the offending individuals were sentenced to simple imprisonment. Babloo’s case is different. As according to him he used the word ‘Mithibong Mitambal’ as he do not want them to be one.
In the 2007 case of breach of privilege against Ambassador Ronen Sen, the Lok Sabha Committee on privileges held that the phrase “headless chicken” was not used by Shri Sen in respect of MPs or politicians. No action was taken against him.
In 2008, an editor of an Urdu weekly referred to the deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha as a “coward” attributing motives to a decision taken by him. The privileges committee held the editor guilty of breach of privilege. The committee instead of recommending punishment stated that, “it would be better if the House saves its own dignity by not giving undue importance to such irresponsible articles published with the sole intention of gaining cheap publicity.”
Babloo’s case is surely to discuss in the upcoming State Assembly session which is scheduled to begin from February 25. People of the state have to wait and watch the kind of punishment which is likely to be awarded by the house to a common man.

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