There is eight more months to go before both Sachin & Rekha retire as nominated MPs of the Rajya Sabha. Sachin now has an attendance record of 7% while Rekha is at 5%. Sachin submitted only 2 leave applications till date while Rekha submitted only one. Both of them have avoided disqualification by attending 1 or 2 days every session.
Factly had earlier reported that Sachin & Rekha have the worst attendance record among all the nominated MPs of the Rajya Sabha (RS). As of August 2017, Sachin has attended 25 out of 373 sittings (7% attendance) while Rekha attended 18 out of the 373 sittings (5% attendance). As if this is not enough, Factly’s investigation found that Sachin has applied for leave of absence from the house only twice while Rekha applied only once.
Attending 1 or 2 days every session to avoid disqualification
Article 101(4) of the constitution prescribes one of the many criteria for disqualification of a Member of Parliament (MP). As per this clause, a MP of either house of parliament can be disqualified if he/she is absent from the house for a period of 60 days without permission.
Both Sachin & Rekha have been attending 1 or 2 days per session so that the continuous 60-day period is not applicable. Out of the 22 sessions of the RS held after both of them were nominated in 2012, Rekha attended only one day per session in 18 sessions while she did not attend a single day in the rest of the 4 sessions. In the case of Sachin, he did not attend a single day in 8 sessions, only one day per session in 6 sessions, 2 days per session in 5 sessions and 3 days per session in 3 sessions. Rekha’s best attendance in a single session was ONE (1) while Sachin’s was slightly better at THREE (3).
|Session||Number of Sittings||Number of Days Present||Leave Letters|
|225 Part 2 (24th April to 22nd May 2012)||18 (after the nomination of Sachin & Rekha)||0||1||None|
|226 (08th August to 07th September 2012)||19||1||1||None|
|227 (22nd November to 20th December 2012)||20||0||1||None|
|228 Part 1 (21st February to 22nd March 2013)||21||0||0||Submitted by Sachin & Rekha|
|228 Part 2 (22nd April to 08th May 2013)||11||0||1||None|
|229 (05th August to 07th September 2013)||21||1||1||None|
|230 (05th December to 18th December 2013)||10||1||1||None|
|230 Part 2 (05th February to 21st February 2014)||12||0||1||None|
|231 (09th June to 11th June 2014)||3||0||0||None|
|232 (07th July 2014 to 14th August 2014)||27||0||1||Submitted by Sachin|
|233 (24th November to 23rd December 2014)||22||3||1||None|
|234 (23rd February to 20th March 2015)||19||3||1||None|
|235 (23rd April to 13th May 2015)||13||1||1||None|
|236 (21st July to 13th August 2015)||17||2||1||None|
|237 (26th November to 23rd December 2015)||20||1||1||None|
|238 (23rd February to 16th March 2016)||16||2||1||None|
|239 (25th April to 13th May 2016)||15||2||0||None|
|240 (18th July to 12th August 2016)||20||3||1||None|
|241 (16th November to 16th December 2016)||21||2||1||None|
|242 Part 1 (31st January to 09th February 2017)||8||1||1||None|
|242 Part 2 (09th March to 12th April 2017)||21||0||0||None|
|243 (17th July to 11th August 2017)||19||2||1||None|
Only 3 leave letters between them
Unlike in the Lok Sabha where there is a committee to decide on the leave applications of members, the Rajya Sabha does not have any dedicated committee. The chairman of the RS reads out the leave application in the house to seek the permission of the house.
In response to an application by Factly under Right to Information (RTI), the Rajya Sabha secretariat confirmed that as of August 2017, Sachin submitted only two leave applications while Rekha submitted only one.
One of Sachin’s leave applications was in March 2013 when he was still playing test cricket. The second leave application was August 2014 and cites professional & personal commitments and family exigencies as the reason for absence. On the other hand, Rekha’s leave application in February 2013 cites film shooting as the reason for absence. After this, neither of them submitted even a single leave application for their absence from the house. It has not be noted that they were seen outside attending commercial engagements during these sessions. Ideally, they should have submitted leave application in every session since there is not a single session where their attendance is even close to 20%.