“When any individual or authority disregards or attacks any of the privileges, rights and immunities, either of the member individually or of the House in its collective capacity, the offence is termed as breach of privilege and is punishable by the House.”
Any act or omission which obstructs a House of Parliament, its member or its officer in the performance of their functions or which has a tendency, directly or indirectly to produceresults against the dignity, authority and honour of the House is treated as a contempt of the House
Though the two phrases, ‘breach of privilege’ and ‘contempt of the House’ are used interchangeably, they have different implications. ‘Normally, a breach of privilege may amount to contempt of the House. Likewise, contempt of the House may include a breach of privilege also. Contempt of the House, however, has wider implications. There may be a contempt of the House without specifically committing a breach of privilege’ Similarly, ‘actions which are not breaches of any specific privilege but are offences against the dignity and authority of the House amount to contempt of the House’. For example, disobedience to a legitimate order of the House is not a breach of privilege, but can be punished as contempt of the House.