ANI Photo | “Why seek probe by govt if panel found TMC MP guilty, completely contradictory…”: Congress MP Karti Chidambaram

Questioning the expulsion of TMC MP Mahua Moitra as a Member of the Lok Sabha, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram said that after finding somebody criminal, why are you asking for an inquiry?
Trinamool MP was on Friday expelled from the Lok Sabha after a discussion on the report of the Ethics Committee in the ‘cash for query’ that was tabled in the Lower House today.
“So the committee came to the conclusion that she is criminal but in the next line, the committee recommends an intense legal institutional inquiry by the Government of India in a time-bound manner. After finding somebody criminal, why are you asking for an inquiry? This recommendation itself is completely contradictory. The person who drafted it has to read it again,” Congress MP told ANI on Friday.
Mahua Moitra, who was not allowed to speak during the discussion inside the House, the Trinamool leader read out her statement outside the Lok Sabha.
She said that the ethics committee broke every rule.
Following her expulsion from the 17th Lok Sabha as a Trinamool Congress MP in a ‘cash for query’ case, TMC leader Mahua Moitra on Friday said that the Ethics Committee probing the matter is another “weapon to crush opposition into submission” and that the panel has broken every rule in the book.
The expelled Lok Sabha MP alleged that she has been found guilty of breaching a code of ethics that ‘does not exist’.
Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha after a discussion on the report of the Ethics Committee in the ‘cash for query’ that was tabled in the Lower House today.
Soon after her expulsion, she read her statement on Parliament premises and said, “This LS has also seen the weaponisation of the Parliamentary committee. Ironically the Ethics Committee which was set up to serve as a moral compass for members, instead it has been abused egregiously today to do exactly what it was never meant to do, which is to bulldoze the opposition and become another weapon to ‘thok do’ (crush) us into submission.”
“This committee and this report have broken every rule in the book. In essence you are finding me guilty of breaching a code of ethics that does not exist,” Moitra said, adding that the committe is punishing her for engaging in a practice that is routine, accepted and encouraged in the House.
Moitra further alleged that the findings are solely based on the written testimonies of two private citizens whose versions contradict each other in material terms and her right to cross examine them was snatched.
“None of whom I was allowed to cross-examine. One of the two private citizens is my estranged partner, who with malafide intention, masqueraded as a common citizen in front of the committe. The two testimonies have been used to hang me there at polar opposites to each other,” she said.
“The complainant says (that) I accepted cash in consideration for my businessman to ask questions in furtherance of his commercial interests. But the businessman’s suo motu affidavit, says I pressurised him into uploading questions to further my agenda. The two are at pole of opposites,” she clarified on the issue.
The opposition staged a walkout after the Lok Sabha adopted the motion to expel the TMC MP.
The House was then adjourned till December 11.
Speaker Om Birla said, “This House accepts the conclusions of the Committee that MP Mahua Moitra’s conduct was immoral and indecent as an MP. So, it is not appropriate for her to continue as an MP…”
The Ethics Committee report probing ‘Unethical Conduct’ of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP had recommended that Moitra “may be expelled” from the Lok Sabha and called for an “intense, legal, institutional inquiry” by the central government in a “time-bound manner”.
“The serious misdemeanours on the part of Mahua Moitra calls for severe punishment. The Committee, therefore, recommend that Mahua Moitra, MP may be expelled from the Membership of the Seventeenth Lok Sabha,” the report read.
Participating in the debate today over the Ethics Panel report in the lower house, Manish Tewari, who was nominated by the Congress to speak on the issue questioned whether the procedure of the Ethics Committee overrides the fundamental principle of Natural Justice.
“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?”
He further said that the Ethics Committee can recommend whether a Member is guilty or not but it cannot decide what would be the exact punishment.
“This is a fundamental distinction. That power lies with this House. The Ethics Committee can best make recommendations about whether a person is guilty or innocent. It is with the House to decide what would be the quantum of punishment. Here recommendation of the Commitee is fundamentally flawed,” he said.
Congress MP further raised a point that can a party direct its MPs to vote in a particular way in an impeachment procedure.
“Can a whip be issued? because this is like directing a judge to decide on a particular matter. This is a complete travesty of Justice. This House should be adjourned. All whips should be withdrawn,” he said.
Union Parliamentary Pralhad Joshi had moved the motion to consider the report of the Ethics commitee which was further taken up for the debate.
The Ethics Committee report probing ‘Unethical Conduct’ of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra in the “cash for query” case that was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday recommended that Moitra “may be expelled” from the Lok Sabha and called for an “intense, legal, institutional inquiry” by the central government in a “time-bound manner”.”
“The serious misdemeanours on the part of Mahua Moitra call for severe punishment. The Committee, therefore, recommend that Mahua Moitra, MP may be expelled from the Membership of the Seventeenth Lok Sabha,” the report read.
Mahua Moitra is facing the heat of the “cash-for-query” allegations against her. The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee had recently recommended her expulsion from the Lower House.
The draft report was adopted by a 6:4 majority in the panel last month. As per the sources, the draft report on Moitra’s cash-for-questions case reveals that she visited the UAE four times from 2019 to 2023 while her login was accessed several times

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