Published On: Fri, Dec 8th, 2023

Lok Sabha expels TMC MP Mahua Moitra from House membership in cash for query case

New Delhi: TMC Member of Parliament Mahua Moitra has been expelled from the Lok Sabha on the recommendations of the Ethics Committee that investigated allegations against her in the cash for query case.

The committee also called for an legal, institutional inquiry

The decision was taken by the lower house after discussion. While opposition members voiced support for Moitra, the NDA allies raised the issue citing national security. While NDA allies voted in favour of her expulsion, the opposition members had staged a walk out of the lower house as Moitra was not allowed to speak.

“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,” said Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla announcing the decision.

Speaking to media, Mahua Moitra alleged that the move is aimed at bulldozing the opposition. She claimed that there is no evidence of receiving any kickbacks from the said businessman.

She said that the government wanted to shut her up for speaking against Adani. “If this Modi government thought that by shutting me up they could do away with the Adani issue, let me tell you this that this kangaroo court has only shown to all of India that the haste and the abuse of due process demonstrates how important Adani is to you. And to what length you will go to harass a single woman MP into shutting her into submission,” said Moitra.

Mahua Moitra also claimed that the BJP cannot tolerate ‘nari shakti’ and rise of minorities. She said that the Ethics Committee has no power to expel and the BJP misused parliamentary committees. “I am 49 years old, I will fight you for the next 30 years inside Parliament, outside Parliament,” said Moitra.

Speaking during the debate, TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee said, “The fair trial would be there only when an affected is being heard. If an affected person is not heard, there cannot be any fair trial…Today, we are deciding the right of a person. When we are deciding the right of a person, we are all acting as a quasi-judicial body.”

Congress MP Manish Tewari said that the recommendation of the Ethics Committee was flawed. “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…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 jury which has the powers to decide the quantum of punishment. So, the recommendation of the Ethics Committee is fundamentally flawed in my respectful submission,” said Tewari.

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 Friday had recommended that Moitra “may be expelled” from the Lok Sabha. The committee also called for an legal, institutional inquiry by the central government in the matter.

“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.

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