Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has set up a 11-member panel, headed by Kishore Chandra Deo, to inquire into cases of misconduct and misuse of parliamentary privileges and facilities by members following the alleged involvement of Babubhai Katara in human trafficking.
The committee will include Gurudas Dasgupta, Anant Geethe, C Kuppuswami, VK Malhora, Shrivnivas Patil, Mohammad Salim, BK Tripathy, Rajesh Verma, Devendra Prasad Yadav and PG Yadav. Deo, who heads the panel, is also the chairman of the Privileges Committee of Parliament, which is looking into the issue of codifying the privileges of members.
The announcement of the panel follows the decision taken at the all-party meeting on Tuesday that an all party committee be set up to inquire into instances of misconduct and misuse of facilities by members.
According to Chatterjee, the panel will:
*look into what amounts to misconduct and make suitable recommendations regarding action to be taken in such cases.
*follow its own procedure, consistent with well-established principles of law and natural justice
*submit its report ordinarily within one month of reference of any matter by the Speaker.
The Speaker will decide whether members whose names come up in the cases referred to the committee will be asked not to attend the House till a suitable decision is taken after the submission of the committee's report. Katara, presently in judicial custody, has already been asked not to attend the House.
The issues that the panel can take up includes possible misuse of railway passes and official residences, complaints from spouses about ill-behaviour of members and even conflict of interest involved when a member opts for a standing committee relating to his business interest.