Parliament security breach


09:40 AM

1 min read
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What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • Rules for Parliament visitors
  • The process of entry for ‘strangers’
  • Duration for which passes are issued
  • Security check
  • 2001 Parliament attack

Why in news?

  • Two persons entered the Lok Sabha chamber and opened canisters that emitted yellow smoke.
    • The two men jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the visitor’s gallery.
    • This recalled two other incidents that took place in a space of four months almost 30 years ago (in 1994).
  • This happened hours after leaders and lawmakers led the nation in paying tribute to those who died in the line of duty this day in 2001 during the terror attack on Parliament House.
  • They were carrying visitors’ passes, issued to them on the request of BJP Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha.

Rules for Parliament visitors

  • Background
    • Rules of the House mandate security staff in the visitors’ gallery to maintain a strict vigil and ensure that the visitors do not indulge in any misbehaviour.
  • Existing rules
    • Visitors’ (“strangers” in parliamentary parlance) admission, withdrawal and removal is governed by Rule 386 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha.
    • This rule states that the admission of strangers during the sittings of the House to those portions of the House which are not reserved for the exclusive use of members shall be regulated in accordance with orders made by the Speaker.
    • Rule 387 gives the Speaker the power to withdraw “strangers” from any part of the House if he/she deems it fit.

The process of entry for ‘strangers’

  • A member can apply for the issue of visitors’ cards only for those who are very well known to them personally.
  • Members applying for a visitor card are also mandated to provide a certificate.
  • This certificate should say, "I know the visitor personally, and I am responsible for them. They are my relative or personal friend."
  • To address security concerns, visitors must also carry a photo ID with them.

Duration for which passes are issued

  • The visitors’ cards are usually issued to a member for a particular day for fixed hours. However, in exceptional cases, the rules permit the issue of two cards.
    • A card is ordinarily issued only for a period of one hour.
    • These cards are not transferable and are issued subject to the holder observing the conditions endorsed thereon.
  • There is also a provision which allows members to apply for a visitor card on the same day in emergent cases when it is not possible for them to apply within the prescribed time limit.
  • There are two types of galleries – public and Speaker’s – in Lok Sabha.
  • While a member can facilitate the entry of four people on a daily basis in the public gallery, he/she is entitled to facilitate the entry of two people in the Speaker’s gallery.
    • The names of the visitors for the Speaker’s gallery need to be vetted by the Speaker.

Security check

  • The Parliament security staff posted at the public gallery checking post will ensure that all visitors are searched/frisked through Door Frame Metal Detector/Hand Held Metal Detector.
  • The security staff is mandated to carefully check the visitor card and cross check it with the approved list in their possession.
  • The Parliament security staffs inside the public gallery maintain a very close vigil on the visitors.
  • They ensure that they maintain silence and do not indulge in any kind of mischief or disturbance like shouting of slogan/attempting to throw leaflets/pamphlets.

2001 Parliament attack

  • On the morning of December 13, 2001 five terrorists entered Parliament House Complex around 11:40 am in an Ambassador car fitted with a red light.
    • They had forged Home Ministry sticker on the car’s windshield.
  • A firefight ensued, lasting over 30 minutes. All five terrorists were killed, along with eight security personnel and a gardener. At least 15 people were injured.
    • The 100 or so ministers and MPs in Parliament at the time were unhurt.
  • The terrorist assault on the Parliament House was executed jointly by Pakistan-based and supported terrorist outfits, namely, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Q1) What is Speaker’s gallery in Lok Sabha?

The Speaker's Gallery in the Lok Sabha is reserved for the Speaker's guests. It's located to the left of the Press Gallery, above the Chair. 

Q2) What is Rule 387 of Lok Sabha?

Rule 387 in the Lok Sabha gives the Speaker the power to remove "strangers" from any part of the House if they deem it necessary.

Source: Decode Politics: What are rules for Parliament visitors, what guarantees an MP has to give | Indian Express | India Today