In a move with far reaching implications, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has sanctioned the prosecution of Congress MP Raja Ram Pal under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.
Pal, who represents Akbarpur, was a BSP member and among the 10 Lok Sabha MPs caught in the cash-for-query scam that rocked Parliament five years back.
As Pal is the only one among the 10 MPs to be reelected in 2009, the presiding officer’s permission was needed to prosecute him in the criminal case relating to the scam.
The Delhi Police had filed an application with the Lok Sabha Secretariat in in July 2009.
Kumar’s nod is expected to help cleanse Parliament and enable the law to take its own course. But it would also come as an embarrassment to the Congress which had inducted Pal after hewas expelled from BSP following the scandal.
But giving her permission on September 9 for Pal’s prosecution, the Speaker sought the opinion of the Attorney General, the Ethics Committee and experts. The main issue discussed was if the presiding officer was the competent authority to okay prosecution of an MP of 15th Lok Sabha with regard to an offense committed by him as a member of the 14th Lok Sabha.