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Will take call on listing of Mahua Moitra's plea, CJI to her lawyer

Will take call on listing of Mahua Moitras plea, CJI to her lawyer

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud Wednesday assured the counsel for Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra that he would take a call on the urgent listing of her plea challenging her expulsion from the Lok Sabha.

The TMC leader on Monday approached the top court against her expulsion after the Lower House of Parliament adopted a report by its ethics committee that held her guilty of accepting gifts and illegal gratification from a businessman to further his interests.

A CJI-led bench on Wednesday took note of the submissions of senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, counsel for Moitra, and Chandrachud said he would look into the listing aspect at lunch during the day.

"This is a member being expelled from the Lok Sabha," Singhvi said. "The matter may not have been registered... If an email was sent, then I would look at it right away. Please send it," the CJI said.

Earlier in the day, Singhvi mentioned Moitra's plea before a bench headed by senior-most judge Justice S K Kaul as the CJI was heading a Constitution bench.

"The CJI will take the call," Justice Kaul told Singhvi then.

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On December 8, after a heated debate in the Lok Sabha over the panel report during which Moitra was not allowed to speak, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi moved a motion to expel the TMC MP from the House for "unethical conduct" which was adopted by a voice vote.

Reacting sharply to her expulsion, Moitra had equated the action with hanging by a "kangaroo court" and alleged that a parliamentary panel was being weaponised by the government to force the opposition into submission.

The ethics committee found Moitra guilty of "unethical conduct" and contempt of the House as she shared her Lok Sabha members' portal credentials, user ID and password, with unauthorised people, which had an irrepressible impact on national security, Joshi said.

The committee had also recommended that in view of the "highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal conduct" of Moitra, an intense, legal and institutional inquiry be initiated by the government in a time-bound manner.

The motion moved by Joshi said Moitra's "conduct has further been found to be unbecoming as an MP for accepting gifts and illegal gratification from a businessman to further his interest, which is a serious misdemeanour and highly-deplorable conduct" on her part.

Earlier, ethics committee Chairman Vinod Kumar Sonkar tabled the first report of the panel on a complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey against Moitra.

In October, Dubey, on the basis of a complaint submitted by Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai, alleged that Moitra had asked questions in the Lok Sabha in exchange for cash and gifts from businessman Darshan Hiranandani to mount an attack on industrialist Gautam Adani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In an affidavit to the ethics committee on October 19, Hiranandani claimed that Moitra provided him with her log-in ID and password for the Lok Sabha members' website.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already filed a preliminary FIR in the case.

With PTI inputs

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TAGS:Mahua MoitraCJIIndia NewsBJP MP Nishikant DubeyCash-for-query row
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