Mahua Moitra cash-for-query case: Bizman Hiranandani named as accused in FIR | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Mahua Moitra cash-for-query case: Bizman Hiranandani named as accused in FIR

By, New Delhi
Mar 25, 2024 04:46 AM IST

Businessman Darshan Hiranandani, who accused ex-MP Mahua Moitra, is now a co-accused in CBI's cash-for-query FIR against them both.

Dubai-based businessman Darshan Hiranandani, who had earlier levelled allegations against former MP Mahua Moitra of sharing her Parliamentary login ID and password with him, has been named as an “accused” along with the latter in the FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the cash-for-query case.

Moitra was expelled on December 8 last year over the cash-for-query charges. (HT Archive)
Moitra was expelled on December 8 last year over the cash-for-query charges. (HT Archive)

The CBI filed the first information report, dated March 21, based on the order from the Lokpal — a body to probe corruption cases against public servants including legislators — directing a formal probe by the central agency against Moitra. A complaint into the matter was filed by BJP lawmaker from Jharkhand, Nishikant Dubey.

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The FIR, issued in compliance with Lokpal’s order, registered a case against Moitra, Hiranandani, and “unknown others” under Sections 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Moitra has denied any wrongdoing, and is set to contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections on a Trinamool Congress (TMC) ticket from Krishnanagar in West Bengal.

The FIR has been lodged based on “the allegations that Ms. Mahua Moitra indulged in corrupt practices including, but not limited to, taking bribes and other undue advantages from Sh. Darshan Hiranandani S/o Sh. Niranjan Hiranandani, Private Person for compromising her parliamentary privileges and causing national security threats by sharing her login credentials of Lok Sabha.”

The case has been entrusted to additional superintendent of police Alok Kumar Singh.

Earlier on Saturday, the CBI conducted raids at multiple locations, including the Kolkata residence of the TMC leader, in connection with its probe into the cash-for-query case. Moitra on Sunday wrote to the Election Commission of India (ECI), saying that the CBI conducted consecutive raids at four of her properties on Saturday to “hinder her campaign” and “create a negative perception about her,” and urged the poll panel to intervene so that all parties in the fray get a level playing field.

The CBI’s preliminary inquiry report to the Lokpal led to further investigation into the allegations against the TMC leader on Tuesday. Referring to the CBI findings, Lokpal’s judgment on Tuesday said, “It is stated in the PE report that it is prima facie revealed that Moitra had unauthorisedly shared her login credentials of ‘Members’ Portal’ of Lok Sabha with Darshan Hiranandani, who either provided information or posted questions directly on the Lok Sabha portal on behalf of Moitra.”

Moitra was expelled on December 8 last year over the cash-for-query charges. She alleged “substantial illegality” and “arbitrariness” by the House’s ethics committee that recommended the action against her.

She was expelled over her “direct involvement” in cash-for-query charges and “unethical” conduct. The Lok Sabha expelled the TMC legislator with a voice vote amid a walkout by Opposition members, adopting an ethics committee report that recommended her expulsion for sharing her log-in credentials and password with an unauthorised person, its impact on national security, and accepting gifts and possibly cash as a “quid pro quo” from businessman Darshan Hiranandani.

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