Delhi HC rejects Kalmadi plea to attend Parliament | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Delhi HC rejects Kalmadi plea to attend Parliament

delhi Updated: Aug 31, 2011 01:40 IST
Harish V Nair

Citing "grave allegations" against him, the Delhi high court on Tuesday dismissed the plea of sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman and the Lok Sabha MP Suresh Kalmadi for permission to attend the ongoing Parliament session.

Significantly, the court ruled, "a member of parliament cannot claim any special privileges in this regard (grant of custody parole) other than what is enjoyed by a common citizen."

Holding that a jailed MP cannot claim permission to attend parliament as a matter of right, the bench said grant of such permission is the prerogative of the court in emergency situations like MPs are to vote in the house on a particular issue or have to take oath.

"He is accused of involvement in offences which caused huge loss to the exchequer. In view of the gravity of the offence and allegation of huge magnitude, it would be totally inappropriate to grant him permission", chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Sanjiv Khanna said upholding a single bench order denying him permission.

"It cannot be claimed solely on the ground of freedom of speech inside the parliament on the foundation that he has to meet the Constitutional obligation", the Bench added.

Kalmadi had contended that the single judge had wrongly equated the rights of an MP with those of common people and claimed "constitution conferred some privileges on parliamentarians.

Kalmadi is facing trial in connection with alleged role in awarding a lucrative Commonwealth Games contract to a Swiss firm at inflated rates. Single judge justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, had rejected his plea dubbing it as "an attempt to get fresh air outside the prison" and an indirect attempt to secure bail.

His lawyer Ashok Desai submitted that Kalmadi being a representative of people with a long standing of over 28 years, it is his duty to represent his constituency.

"I am not going to attend any ceremony but I am to do my constitutional duty," Desai said.