SC to hear in May TMC leader Mahua Moitra's plea challenging expulsion from Lok Sabha

SC to hear TMC leader Mahua Moitra's plea against Lok Sabha expulsion in May
Mahua Moitra
Mahua Moitra

New Delhi | The Supreme Court said on Monday it would hear in May the plea filed by Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra challenging her expulsion from the Lok Sabha.

Her plea came up for hearing before a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta.

The counsel appearing for Moitra said they don't intend to file a rejoinder to the counter affidavit submitted by the secretary general of the Lok Sabha in the matter.

"List on a non-miscellaneous day in the week commencing May 6. The counsel for the petitioner (Moitra) states that they do not intend to file a rejoinder," the bench said.

On January 3, the apex court had sought a reply from the Lok Sabha secretary general on Moitra's petition challenging her expulsion.

The bench had refused to pass an order on her interim prayer that she be permitted to attend the Lok Sabha proceedings, saying that allowing it will amount to granting her the main relief.

The top court had also refused to issue notice to the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Committee on Ethics of the House. Both were made respondents by Moitra in her plea.

On December 8 last year, after a heated debate in the Lok Sabha over the ethics 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". The motion was adopted by a voice vote.

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

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 had tabled the report of the panel on a complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey against Moitra.

In October last year, 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, 2023, Hiranandani claimed that Moitra had shared with him her log-in ID and password for the Lok Sabha members' website.

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