‘Fundamentally flawed’: Congress MP slams ethics panel report on Mahua Moitra
The ethics committee report probing 'Unethical Conduct' of Mahua Moitra in the "cash for query" case was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Congress MP Manish Tewari described the Lok Sabha ethics committee report recommending the expulsion of Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra from Lok Sabha as “fundamentally flawed” and demanded adjournment of the House and withdraw whip on the report of the panel.
"I have carefully read Rule 316(d) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. It says that the recommendations of the Committee shall be presented in the form of a report... The ethics committee can recommend if a person is guilty or innocent but it can't recommend their punishment. That power lies with this House. The ethics committee, at best, can make a recommendation that whether a person is guilty or innocent. It is this House sitting as a jury which has the power to decide the quantum of punishment. So, the recommendation of the Ethics Committee is fundamentally flawed in my respectful submission," the Congress MP said after the committee report probing 'Unethical Conduct' of the Trinamool Congress MP in the "cash for query" case was tabled in the Lok Sabha.
The panel called for an "intense, legal, institutional inquiry" by the central government in a "time-bound manner".
"... As Adhir Ranjan said, heavens would not have fallen had we given 3-4 days to take cognisance of this report and then keep our opinions before the House because it is going to make a decision on a very sensitive matter...Can the procedure of the Ethics Committee override the fundamental principle of natural justice which is the organising principle of every justice system in the world? From what we read in the newspaper, the one who has been made an accused - she was not able to complete her deposition. What kind of procedure is this?...," Tewari said.
Opposition members also sought more time to study the 495-page document.
The report was tabled in the House around 12 noon. As soon as the House met again at 2pm after an adjournment, Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi moved a motion for discussion on the panel report.
Speaker Om Birla said if some strict decisions have to be taken against any member, they have to be taken to uphold the dignity of the House.
He said it was painful that at times the House has to take up such matters. But, he said, it is because the dignity of the institution has to be maintained at any cost.
Birla said it was the collective duty of the House to take steps to ensure the prestige of the institution remains unblemished.
He said the House will discuss the report for half-an-hour but opposition members insisted that more time be given.
Congress leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury demanded that three to four days be given to the members to go through the nearly 500-page report.
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