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Business News/ News / India/  ‘Extremely serious punishment’: Cong MP writes to LS Speaker on ethics panel proceedings against Mahua Moitra
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‘Extremely serious punishment’: Cong MP writes to LS Speaker on ethics panel proceedings against Mahua Moitra

Cash-for-query case: The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee has recommended the expulsion of Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra. Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has written to Speaker Om Birla demanding a relook of the rules and processes of parliamentary committees.

 TMC leader Mahua Moitra Premium
TMC leader Mahua Moitra

Cash-for-query case: As the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee report recommending the expulsion of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra in the cash-for-query case, the Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Saturday wrote to Speaker Om Birla demanding a relook and appropriately reviewing the rules and processes on the functioning of parliamentary committees.

The Ethics Committee, which probed the 'cash-for-query' allegations against Moitra, will be tabled in the lower house on 4 December. The committee, at a meeting on 9 November had adopted its report recommending Moitra's expulsion from the Lok Sabha over the "cash-for-query" allegation.

In a four-page letter to the speaker, Chowdhury said there is no clear-cut demarcation in the roles envisaged for the Privileges Committee and the Ethics Committee, more so in matters of exercising penal powers.

Also Read: Mahua Moitra gets new role in TMC amid probe into 'cash-for-query' case

“There is no clear-cut demarcation in the roles envisaged for the two Committees, more so, in the matter of exercising penal powers. Also, as of date, there is no clear definition of "unethical conduct", and a "Code of Conduct remains to be formulated though envisaged under Rule 316 B of the Rules of Procedure. These issues, inclusive of the procedures being followed by the Committee, which have a significant bearing and influence on the polity, may require deeper attention, and the processes streamlined under your guidance and directions," he wrote.

Chowdhury, who is also chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said the views expressed by him are in his personal capacity.

"If the media reports on the recommendations of the Ethics Committee on choosing to recommend expelling Ms. Mohua Moitra from Parliament are right, it would, perhaps be the first such recommendation of the Ethics Committee of Lok Sabha. Expulsion from Parliament, you will agree Sir, is an extremely serious punishment and has very wide ramifications," he said.

According to the agenda papers circulated by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, Ethics Committee Chairperson Vinod Kumar Sonkar will lay on the table of the House the panel's first report.

The committee, at a meeting on November 9, adopted its report recommending Moitra's expulsion from the Lok Sabha over the "cash-for-query" allegation.

The Ethics Committee, which investigated the allegations made by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, had on November 9 adopted its 500-page report recommending Moitra's expulsion from the 17th Lok Sabha in view of her "highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal conduct".

In the letter, the Congress MP further expressed his hope for 'justice' and said that he is looking for intervention into the matter.

“I am sure that under your leadership and control, no in-justice will be done, and the processes relating to the functioning of Parliament and conduct of the Business of the House is smoothened for the benefit of all Members of the House," he added.

Moreover, Chowdhury also urged the Speaker to have the entire processes relating to the jurisdiction and procedures to be followed, examined and such remedial measures, as needed, taken towards streamlining the functioning.

"I urge upon you to ensure that Members do not become susceptible and find themselves on the "wrong side", the entire protocols relating to the functioning of the Official Portal of Lok Sabha will have to be looked into and reviewed," he wrote.

He further questioned as to why the businessman chose to turn against the member despite his interests apparently being served by way of posing questions by using the Log-in credentials.

"The Dubai based Businessman who purportedly had access to the "log-in credentials" of the Member, Mahua Moitra to the Lok Sabha Portal and was placing Questions on her behalf was, as per reports, possibly not called by the Committee for deposing. It is also not clearly known as to why the Businessman chose to turn against the Member despite his interests apparently being served by way of posing questions by using the Log in credentials," he asked.

(With PTI, ANI inputs)

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Published: 02 Dec 2023, 01:54 PM IST
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