MPs in MPLAD sting may get off lightly
LOK SABHA members caught on tape in what has come to be known as the MPLADS scam are likely to retain their seats in the House.The panel that probed the charges of graft against them is understood to have recommended that they be suspended till the conclusion of the budget session in May or at least till March 22, when Parliament goes into recess after the first half of the ongoing session.india Updated: Mar 14, 2006 01:57 IST
LOK SABHA members caught on tape in what has come to be known as the MPLADS scam are likely to retain their seats in the House.
The panel that probed the charges of graft against them is understood to have recommended that they be suspended till the conclusion of the budget session in May or at least till March 22, when Parliament goes into recess after the first half of the ongoing session.
Sources told HT that the four MPs -- minus the BJP's C.P. Singh (already expelled in the cash-for-queries scandal) -- might also be reprimanded in a resolution likely to be moved by Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee consequent to the tabling of the report in the Lower House.
In the report submitted to Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, the LS Committee that investigated the MPs' conduct is understood to have let them off with milder punishment primarily because they weren't seen accepting cash on camera.
In contrast, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha panels that doubled-checked the veracity of another TV sting operation had recommended expulsion of 11 members (one of RS, 10 of LS) who allegedly took money for raising questions in ParliamentHowever, the Rajya Sabha's Ethics Committee that looked into identical-MPLADS related charges against two members has recommended the expulsion of Shakshi Maharaj, against whom the House, if its accepts the report, might have to act fast to beat the April 2 deadline, when the MP is due for retirement.
But in the case of the BSP's Isam Singh, who resisted the overtures made to him, the ethics panel has, while restricting itself to making some adverse remarks against the member, referred the TV channel and its associates in the sting operation to the Privileges Committee for offering inducements despite the MP's refusal.
Kishore Chandra Deo (Congress) came to head the Lok Sabha's specially constituted panel after the resignation of party colleague Pawan Bansal (now a minister at the Centre).
The MPs facing suspension on the strength of the panel's recommendations are: former Goa CM Churchill Alemao (Congress), Paras Nath Yadav (SP) and the BJP's Ram Swaroop Koli and Faggan Singh Kulaste, a former central minister.