LS Ethics Panel Asks Mahua To Appear On Nov 2

The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee has now asked TMC MP Mahua Moitra to appear before it on November 2 in connection with the alleged ‘Cash for Query’ scandal.

The new date was communicated to Moitra after she sought more time to appear before the panel after having been told to give her oral evidence in the matter on October 31.

In a communication to Moitra, the Privileges and Ethics Branch of Lok Sabha Secretariat said that “in view of the seriousness of the matter” any further request for rescheduling the panel sitting will not be entertained.

Moitra has been given till October 31 to confirm her appearance.

The TMC MP has been asked to depose before the Ethics Committee headed by BJP MP Vinod Sonkar to submit oral evidence in regard to the complaint filed against her by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey.

The communication referred to Moitra’s letter and said the Ethics Committee chairperson has “acceded to your request for extension of date for appearing before the committee”.

“It has accordingly been decided to hear you in the above matter, in person, on November 2 at 11 am,” the communication said.

“The Chairperson has also directed to convey that keeping in view the seriousness of the matter, having implications on the dignity of Parliament as well as its Members, any further request for extension of date for appearing before the Committee, i.e., re-scheduling the sitting of the Committee for any reason whatsoever would not be entertained,” it said.

“Necessary confirmation in this regard may kindly be sent to this Secretariat, latest October 31, 2023,” it added.

In her letter to the Ethics Committee on Friday, the TMC MP had said that she will be attending pre-scheduled Vijay Dashmi meetings in her constituency from October 30 to November 4 and requested to be given time to appear in person before the committee at any date and time after November 5, 2023.

Moitra also asked “for the right” to cross-examine Darshan Hiranandani, the businessman at the centre of the alleged ‘Cash for Query’ scandal. She also urged the committee to call Hiranandani to depose before the panel and provide a verified list of alleged gifts and favours allegedly provided to her.

Meanwhile, Dubey on Saturday alleged that attempts are being made to influence the witness amid the ‘Cash for Query’ row and urged the Lok Sabha speaker to take action.

“According to the information, Darshan Hiranandani and Dubai Didi (MP Mahua Moitra) are in touch. An attempt is being made to influence the witness @loksabhaspeaker to take action,” he said in a post on X.

Dubey and Advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai appeared before the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee to submit oral evidence on their allegations on Thursday.

After the appearance Nishikant Dubey said that he had placed all documents regarding his allegations before the committee and now the only question was “Is Mahua Moitra a thief?”

The “Cash for Query’ scandal erupted after the BJP MP wrote to the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, alleging the involvement of Moitra in the scandal. He claimed that he had proof of the allegations which were submitted to him by Advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai.

In response to Dubey’s letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Trinamool MP had said she would welcome a probe by the Speaker after he had dealt with alleged breaches of privilege by other BJP MPs. (ANI)

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