The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is looking into a complaint forwarded by the Lokpal regarding the allegation against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra related to certain questions raised by her in the Lok Sabha, according to sources.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated a preliminary inquiry based on a reference from the Lokpal against Trinamool Congress (TMC) Member of Parliament Mahua Moitra regarding allegations of cash-for-query.

Officials stated that the investigation into the alleged “cash-for-query” case is based on the Lokpal’s reference, which examines complaints against public servants. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey had contacted the Lokpal, accusing Moitra of intending to target Adani Group and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha based on the statements of business tycoon Darshan Hiranandani.

Confirming the investigation, a CBI official said, “We have registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) for the case sent to us by Lokpal.”

A Preliminary Enquiry is an initial and formal investigation allowing the CBI to decide whether it wants to convert it into a regular case (First Information Report) based on available evidence or close it. According to the agency’s manual, the CBI has the authority to examine documents, summon individuals for questioning but cannot conduct searches or make arrests.

The Ethics Committee of the Lok Sabha had recommended Moitra’s expulsion earlier this month for sharing her login credentials and password with an unauthorized individual, causing a breach of national security and unethical conduct, leading to her dismissal.

The report, adopted with a 6-4 majority, also mentioned that Moitra had accepted “money – cash and goods, services, and various other facilities” from business tycoon Darshan Hiranandani, with whom she had shared passwords and login details. It further stated that Moitra had sought information related to Hiranandani’s “business interests or intentions to sustain them” in only 50 out of the 61 questions she asked in Parliament.

“The sharing of her Lok Sabha login credentials with Dubai-based business tycoon Darshan Hiranandani by Moitra was intentional, providing her with the convenience of operating it from Dubai to raise parliamentary questions. Therefore, Mrs. Mahua Moitra is culpable of unethical conduct, violating the special privileges of the members of the Parliament, and disrespecting the House,” the panel concluded.

Moitra had informed the committee on November 2 that there was no concrete evidence in the affidavit of business tycoon Darshan Hiranandani against the allegations of cash-for-query. She also accused her former friend and lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai of filing a false complaint against her. Their relationship has ended.

The report from the Ethics Panel, recommending her dismissal, will now be placed on the floor of the Lok Sabha on the first day of the winter session.

TMC leader Mamata Banerjee had stated earlier this week that plans were underway to remove Moitra from Parliament, but any such action would assist the legislator from Krishnanagar before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The controversy began last month when BJP MLA Nishikant Dubey wrote a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, based on the complaint from Dehradun, alleging that Moitra had taken money and showed bias to ask questions in Parliament. Moitra denied these allegations, stating that she had not received any gifts and asked other MPs if they had ever shared their passwords.

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