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.
Cash-for-Query Case: The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee has recommended the expulsion of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra in the Cash-for-Query case, as stated in the committee’s report. Congress’ Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wrote a letter to Speaker Om Birla on Saturday, demanding a re-examination and proper review of the rules and procedures on the functioning of parliamentary committees.
In a four-page letter to the Speaker, Chowdhury mentioned that there is no clear delineation in the prescribed roles for the Ethics Committee and the Conduct Committee, especially in cases involving the use of punitive powers. Regarding the use of punitive powers, there is no clear delineation in the prescribed roles for both committees.
Additionally, so far, there is no clear definition of “unethical conduct,” and the “Code of Conduct” is yet to be finalized, although a proposal has been made under Rule 316 B of the procedure. Compliance with procedures is included in these matters. The committee, which has a significant impact on politics, may need to be closely examined, and processes can be organized systematically under your guidance and instructions,” he wrote.
Chowdhury, who is also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, stated that the views expressed by him are in his personal capacity.
“If media reports on the recommendations of the Ethics Committee to expel Ms. Mahua Moitra from Parliament are correct, it may be the first such recommendation of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee. Expulsion from Parliament, you will agree, sir, is a very serious penalty and will have very far-reaching implications,” he said.
According to the agenda papers published by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, Ethics Committee Chairman Vinod Kumar Sonkar will present the first report of the panel on the floor of the House.
The committee recommended the expulsion of Moitra from the Lok Sabha on November 9 in a meeting on the “Cash-for-Query” allegation. The Ethics Committee, tasked with investigating allegations raised by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, adopted its 500-page report on November 9, recommending Moitra’s expulsion from the 17th Lok Sabha for her “highly objectionable, unethical, heinous, and criminal conduct.”
In the letter, the Congress MP expressed hope for ‘justice’ and stated that he expects intervention in this matter. “I am confident that under your leadership and control, no injustice will be done, and all proceedings related to the functioning of Parliament and the conduct of Parliament’s business and operations related to processes will be streamlined for the benefit of all members of the House,” he added.
In addition, Chowdhury urged the Chairman to ensure the full compliance of all procedures related to the jurisdiction and processes, conduct an inquiry, and take remedial measures as necessary to streamline the functioning.
He wrote, “I urge you to ensure that members do not become overly sensitive and do not find themselves on the ‘wrong side.’ It is necessary to pay attention to the entire protocol related to the functioning of the Lok Sabha’s official portal and review it.”
Furthermore, Chowdhury questioned why a decision was made against the member despite the businessman using login credentials to ask questions through a medium that would have clearly served his interests. “The Dubai-based businessman, who allegedly had access to Lok Sabha portal credentials of Member Mahua Moitra and was asking questions on her behalf, was possibly not summoned by the committee to testify. It is also not clearly known why the decision was made against the member despite the businessman using login credentials to ask questions through a medium that would have clearly served his interests,” he asked.
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