The Supreme Court on Monday (September 7, 2020) stayed the summons issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat’s Committee of Privileges to the Superintendent of Police, Deoghar, to appear before it tomorrow in connection with a complaint filed by a BJP MP from Jharkhand. In July, two separate FIRs were lodged in Deogarh which is a part Godda parliamentary constituency against the family members of Dubey and others for alleged offenses of cheating and using forged documents for undervaluing property. The complaint was lodged by Nishikant Dubey, a BJP Lok Sabha MP from Godda constituency, with the Committee of Privileges claiming that some officials of the JMM-led Jharkhand government allegedly conspired to defame him by implicating him and his family members in false criminal cases with an aim to cause hindrance to his working as a lawmaker.
A bench consisting of Justice L N Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta has therefore issued notices and sought responses from the Lok Sabha Secretariat (Privileges and Ethics Branch), the Committee of Privileges, and Dubey on the plea. “Issue notice, returnable in four weeks. There shall be a stay of further proceedings pursuant to the notice dated July 16, 2020, and the office memorandum dated August 28,” the bench, also comprising, said in the order. While hearing a plea filed by Jharkhand’s acting Director General of Police M V Rao who has sought a direction to the Lok Sabha Secretariat, (Privileges and Ethics Branch) and the Committee of Privileges, the bench passed the order to produce the records pertaining to the proceedings for alleged breach of privilege initiated on Dubey’s complaint. The plea has also urged the apex court to declare as “illegal” and “unconstitutional” the action of Lok Sabha’s Committee of Privileges in entertaining the complaint and directing the Superintendent of Police, Deogarh to appear before the committee for oral evidence on September 8th. Senior lawyer Fali Nariman and advocates Arunabh Chowdhury and Pragya Baghel appeared for the petitioner.