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Judiciary

SC refuses interim relief to Mahua Moitra against her expulsion as LS MP

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      03 January, 2024 04:27 PM      0 Comments
SC refuses interim relief to Mahua Moitra against her expulsion as LS MP

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to grant any relief to TMC leader Mahua Moitra but agreed to examine all issues including jurisdiction of court over her expulsion as Member of Parliament for sharing her login details with a Dubai-based businessman Hiranandani to ask questions related to rival Adani group.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta issued notice to Lok Sabha Secretary General on Moitra's plea challenging her sacking as MP from Krishnanagar constituency in West Bengal for her "misconduct".

In its order, the bench said that a number of issues have been raised in the matter and it will not like to comment on any issue at this stage.

The court asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Secretary General, to file a response within three weeks.

The bench asked the petitioner to file a rejoinder within three weeks thereafter and scheduled the matter for hearing in the week commencing from March 11.

Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Moitra asked the court to allow her to participate in Lok Sabha proceedings.

"No no...we can't allow it, it would amount to allowing the petition," the bench said.

Singhvi sought issuance of notice on her interim prayer.

The bench said it would examine all issues as well as interim prayer on the next date.

During the hearing, Mehta requested the court to not issue in the matter.

The bench, however, clarified that the court is only issuing notice to the first respondent.

Singhvi said that the alleged bribe-giver is not summoned and the Ethics Committee's findings are contradictory. He contended that the complainant Jai Anant Dehadrai suppressed the fact that she was in a relationship with him and that Hiranandani was asking her to submit questions.

In his arguments, Singhvi said the petitioner was expelled only for one ground of sharing her login details.

The allegations of bribery has been referred for further inquiry, he said.

"There is no guidelines for controlled access. There is perversity in findings of the Ethics Committee as there was no compliance with principle of natural justice," he said.

He also contended the petitioner was not permitted to cross examine complainant Dehadrai and the other private individual businessman Hiranandani.

The Ethics Committee relied upon contradictory and self serving affidavits, he alleged.

He claimed the issue related to the Basic structure of Constitution, as there was a disproportionate action based on majority voice.

He also said the motion for her expulsion was moved at 2 pm, and report of the Ethics Committee was shared just an hour before.

On December 8, the Lok Sabha passed a resolution to expel Moitra from Parliament in view of the Ethics Committee recommending her disqualification as an MP.

Her expulsion was recommended by the committee on the basis of Hiranandani's affidavit saying she accepted bribes, including expensive gifts to ask his questions targeting the Adani Group.

The action was initiated on a complaint by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey on the basis of Dehadrai's affidavit.
 



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