NEW DELHI: The Rajya Sabha Secretariat has released a Code of Conduct for its members, a day before the Winter Session of the Parliament that is scheduled to commence on Wednesday.
The direction for the 'Code of Conduct' came from Chairman of the Upper House Om Birla, informing the Chairman of a Committee, "The Proceedings of a Committee shall be treated as confidential and it shall not be 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 including its report or any conclusions arrived at, finally or tentatively, before the report has been presented to the House."
As per the statement, of the rules of procedure and the conduct of business lists that the members of Rajya Sabha should "acknowledge their responsibility to maintain the public trust reposed in them and should work diligently to discharge their mandate for the common good of the people."
"They must hold in high esteem the Constitution, the Law, Parliamentary Institutions and above all the general public. They should constantly strive to translate the ideals laid down in the Preamble to the Constitution into a reality. The following are the principles which they should abide by in their dealings," a Rajya Sabha communication read.
As per the rules and regulations, members must not do anything that brings disrepute to the Parliament and affects their credibility, and members must utilise their position as Members of Parliament to advance the general well-being of the people.
"In their dealings, if Members find that there is a conflict between their personal interests and the public trust which they hold, they should resolve such a conflict in a manner that their private interests are subordinated to the duty of their public office," it said adding that members must utilise their position as Members of Parliament to advance general well-being of the people.
Members should always see that their private financial interests and those of the members of their immediate family do not come in conflict with the public interest and if any such conflict ever arises, they should try to resolve such a conflict in a manner that the public interest is not jeopardised, the bulletin said.
It also stated that members should never expect or accept any fee, remuneration or benefit for a vote given or not given by them on the floor of the House, for introducing a Bill, for moving a resolution or desisting from moving a resolution, putting a question or abstaining from asking a question or participating in the deliberations of the House or a Parliamentary Committee.
Members should not take a gift which may interfere with the honest and impartial discharge of their official duties. They may, however, accept incidental gifts or inexpensive mementoes and customary hospitality. Members holding public offices should use public resources in such a manner as may lead to the public good.
If members are in possession of confidential information owing to their being Members of Parliament or Members of Parliamentary Committees, they should not disclose such information for advancing their personal interests, as per the rules.
Members should desist from giving certificates to individuals and institutions of which they have no personal knowledge and are not based on facts. Members should not lend ready support to any cause of which they have no or little knowledge.
The 'Code of Conducts lists that members should not misuse the facilities and amenities made available to them, they should not be disrespectful to any religion and work for the promotion of secular values and they should keep uppermost in their mind the Fundamental Duties listed in Part IVA of the Constitution.
Members of the Upper House are expected to maintain high standards of morality, dignity, decency and values in public life. The Rajya Sabha has been a ground of confrontation between the treasury benches and the opposition both in the last Winter Session as well as the Monsoon Session of 2021.