Monday, May 27, 2024

SC defers hearing on Mahua Moitra’s plea challenging her expulsion from LS till Jan 3, 2024

TMC MP Mahua Moitra with Congress MP Sonia Gandhi and other opposition leaders outside the Lok Sabha (Photo: PTI)

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 15: The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the hearing on a plea of Trinamul Congress leader Mahua Moitra challenging her expulsion from the Lok Sabha till January 3 next year.
Moitra challenged her expulsion in the top Court after the Lok Sabha adopted the report of its ethics committee that held her guilty of accepting gifts and illegal gratification from a businessman.
As soon as the matter was taken up for hearing, a Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti told Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi, who was appearing for Moitra, that the Bench had not gone through the case files and it would like to hear it upon reopening of the Court after winter break, which ends on January 3.
On December 8, after a heated debate in the Lok Sabha over the panel report ~ Moitra was not allowed to speak~ Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi moved a motion to expel the TMC MP from the House for “unethical conduct”, which was adopted by a voice vote.
The ethics committee found Moitra guilty of “unethical conduct” and contempt of the House as she shared her Lok Sabha members’ portal credentials ~ user ID and password ~ with unauthorised people, which had an irrepressible impact on national security, Joshi had said.
The committee had also recommended that in view of the “highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal conduct” of Moitra, an intense legal and institutional inquiry be initiated by the Government with a set deadline.
The motion moved by Joshi said Moitra’s “conduct has further been found to be unbecoming as an MP for accepting gifts and illegal gratification from a businessman to further his interest, which is a serious misdemeanour and highly-deplorable conduct” on her part.
Earlier, ethics committee Chairman Vinod Kumar Sonkar had tabled the first report of the panel on a complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey against Moitra.
In October, Dubey, on the basis of a complaint submitted by Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai, alleged that Moitra had asked questions in the Lok Sabha in exchange for cash and gifts from businessman Darshan Hiranandani to mount an attack on industrialist Gautam Adani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In an affidavit to the ethics committee on October 19, Hiranandani claimed that Moitra had provided him with her login ID and password for the Lok Sabha members’ website.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has already filed a preliminary FIR in the case. (PTI)