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Business News/ News / India/  Mahua Moitra expulsion from Lok Sabha: What legal options does TMC leader have now?
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Mahua Moitra expulsion from Lok Sabha: What legal options does TMC leader have now?

TMC leader Mahua Moitra was expelled as an MP from the Lok Sabha on Friday. What legal options does she have now to oppose the ethics committee report? Read to know

TMC leader Mahua Moitra with other opposition leaders after being expelled by the Lok Sabha during the Winter session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. (PTI)Premium
TMC leader Mahua Moitra with other opposition leaders after being expelled by the Lok Sabha during the Winter session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. (PTI)

‘Cash-for-query’ case: Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha after an Ethics Committee report recommending her expulsion from the parliament was tabled on Friday, calling for an "intense, legal, institutional inquiry" by the central government in a "time-bound manner". 

The report called the act of sharing Lok Sabha login credentials by the TMC MP with another person ‘Unethical Conduct’ and ‘Contempt of the House’. 

"The 'money trail' of cash transaction between Smt Mahua Moitra and Shri Darshan Hiranandani as a part of 'quid pro quo' should be investigated by the Government of India in a legal, institutional and time-bound manner," the report said.

The Ethics Committee had investigated the allegations made by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey on Mahua Moitra that she took a bribe from businessman Darshan Hiranandani for asking questions in the Lok Sabha.

What legal options does Mahua Moitra have now? 

Moitra still has the option of challenging the Lok Sabha expulsion in the Supreme Court of India, said former Lok Sabha Secretary General PDT Achary while suggesting that Article 122 of the Constitution gives immunity to the proceedings from a challenge from the court, The Indian Express reported. 

According to Article 122, “the validity of any proceedings in Parliament shall not be called (into) question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure. No officer or MP in whom powers are vested by or under this Constitution for regulating procedure or the conduct of business, or for maintaining order, in Parliament shall be subject to the jurisdiction of any court in respect of the exercise by him of those powers."

Citing an example of the 2007 Raja Ram Pal case, Acharya stated the top court had said those restrictions were only for “procedural irregularities", hence, there may be other cases where judicial review may be required, as per Indian Express reports. 

Meanwhile, India Today also reported that Moitra may, on the grounds of natural justice and fair hearing principles, appeal the committee's ruling to the Supreme Court or the high court. 

She could also challenge the jurisdiction and conduct of the ethics committee, while arguing that it overstepped its mandate and the proceedings were “irregular", the report said. 

The TMC MP who was expelled may also make claims of bias, prejudice, or any other type of misconduct in the committee's operations to senior government or Parliament officials via her party or other independent channels, it added. 

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Published: 09 Dec 2023, 08:38 AM IST
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