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HC to examine jailed MPs right to attend House

delhi Updated: Aug 30, 2011 00:05 IST

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With jailed former CWG Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi seeking permission to attend Lok Sabha, the Delhi high court on Monday said it will examine whether an MP arrested in a criminal case is entitled to attend the House.

A bench of chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Sanjiv Khanna decided to examine the issue while slating for hearing on Tuesday the petition of Kalmadi.

Kalmadi moved the division bench of the high court, challenging the order of its single-judge bench of justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, who rejected his plea, saying it was "an attempt to get fresh air outside the prison".

The bench asked senior counsel Ashok Desai, representing Kalmadi, to make his submissions on "whether an MP is entitled to attend Parliament session when a criminal case is pending against him and he is also denied bail by the trial court."

The bench also made it clear to Desai that it will not go into Kalmadi's attendance records in Parliament.

Desai submitted to the bench that it is the constitutional duty of a parliamentarian to attend the House and this duty is also linked to some privileges conferred on them under Article 105 of the Constitution.

Desai also submitted that Kalmadi, being a representative of the people with a long-standing of over 28 years, has a duty to represent his constituency in Parliament.

"I am not going to attend any ceremony but I am going to do my constitutional duty," Kalmadi said, who filed the appeal on the ground that the single judge had wrongly equated the rights of an MP with the rights of the common people.