Cash-for-query: LS Ethics Committee report on charges against Mahua Moitra adopted by 6:4 majority

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NEW DELHI: Six members of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee supported the report on the ‘cash-for-query’ charges against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, including Congress MP Preneet Kaur, while four members opposed it, panel chairman Vinod Sonkar said on Thursday.

The meeting of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee which is investigating the cash-for-query allegations against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey was held on Thursday.

He further said that the panel will submit a ‘detailed report’ to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday.

“The recommendation report by the Parliament Ethics Committee has been adopted by the Committee with a 6:4 majority. Congress MP Preneet Kaur is one of the six MPs who supported the draft. A detailed report is being submitted to the Lok Sabha Speaker tomorrow…The action, whatever it is, will be taken by the Speaker,” Sonkar said.

The Committee, in its draft report, accused Moitra of being involved in ‘unethical conduct’ and sharing her ID login and password with unauthorised persons, sources said on Thursday.

“One common ground for all the opposition MPs to submit a dissent note is that the enquiry is not fair. They have said that Darshan Hiranandani should have been summoned by the committee to ensure a free and fair enquiry in all respects,” the sources said.

As per the sources, the draft report on Mahua Moitra’s cash-for-questions case reveals that she visited the UAE four times from 2019 to 2023 while her login was accessed several times.

“On 47 occasions, her member portal login credentials were accessed from Dubai,” according to the draft report of the ethics committee.
The Ethics Committee had sought details reports from Information Technology (IT) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) regarding IP address and location. The committee had also sought MHA’s input on the dangers of sharing login credentials, emphasizing the legal consequences under Section IT ACT 2000. The draft report is learnt to have suggested that “serious misdemeanours on the part of Mahua Moitra calls for severe punishment”.

“The Committee, therefore, recommends that Mahua Moitra, MP may be expelled from the Membership of the Seventeenth Lok Sabha. In view of the highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal conduct of Mahua Moitra, the Committee recommend for an intense, legal, institutional inquiry by the Government of India in a time-bound manner,” the report is learnt to have said.

“Unethical Conduct’ and ‘Contempt of the House’ by Mahua Moitra by way of accepting money – cash and kind, amenities and various other facilities by Mahua Moitra, MP from Darshan Hiranandani, Business Tycoon, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates,” it is learnt to have said. The draft report spans approximately 500 pages.

Earlier today, Mahua Moitra wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, alleging a breach in the rules of the House claiming that the draft report of the Lok Sabha Committee on Ethics was accessed by a news channel. She alleged that since the media house was owned by the Adani group this was an issue of corporate fraud and breach of regulations. (ANI)

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