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NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has written to heads of parliamentary committees asking them to warn their members against sharing information about proceedings of the panel meetings before the final report is tabled in Parliament.
Sources told TOI that apart from tightening the noose on the ‘breach’ of information related to proceedings of committees, the move will also have a direct bearing on media reporting of proceedings, imposing a near complete restriction on such reportage.
Naidu said parliamentary committees have done “commendable work” of scrutinising legislations, but expressed concern over proceedings of committee meetings appearing in the media.
“For some time now, it has been observed that the media has been quoting, in their reportage, the proceedings of the committees related to the subject matters or the legislative bills under their consideration and examination… . Proceedings of the committee meetings are confidential and it is not permissible for a member of the committee or anyone who has access to its proceedings to communicate, directly or indirectly, to the media any information regarding its proceedings…before the report is presented to the House, as such action will tantamount to breach of privilege of the House,” he said in his letter.
Parliamentary committees discharge crucial oversight work relating not only to legislative business but also other matters of importance as they decide to take up. Unlike Parliament, which has limited sittings during the year, parliamentary committees meet through the year.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, parliamentary committees of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have taken up matters related to the management of the pandemic, plight of migrant workers, as well as efficacy of various government schemes in providing succour to their intended beneficiaries.

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