Cash For Query Case: Panels Don’t Have Criminal Jurisdiction, Says Mahua Moitra

New Delhi: A day before the hearing, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra has claimed the Lok Sabha ethics committee that is looking into the cash-for-query controversy does not have powers to examine allegations of alleged criminality. In a letter to the committee chairperson Vinod Kumar Sonkar, Moitra claimed the absence of this power was deliberately kept that way by “our nation’s founders” to prevent misuse of committees by the government that enjoys a brute majority in parliament.

She also repeated her demand to cross-examine businessman Darshan Hiranandani. The businessman has alleged Moitra took questions from him to ask in parliament, and also admitted he used her parliamentary login ID and password to post questions from Dubai. If proven proven, the situation will mean a breach of privilege and lead to her suspension from parliament.

In a post on X today, Moitra said the parliamentary ethics committee may not be the “appropriate forum to examine allegations of alleged criminality”.

“I wish to respectfully remind you that parliamentary committees do not have criminal jurisdiction and have no mandate to investigate alleged criminality. This can only be done by law enforcement agencies. This check was specifically created by our nation’s founders to prevent the slightest misuse of committees by governments enjoying a brute majority in parliament,” Moitra said in a letter to the ethics committee chairperson Vinod Kumar Sonkar.

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