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MC leader Mahua Moitra moves SC challenging her expulsion from Lok Sabha

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NEW DELHI, Dec 11: Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mahua Moitra moved the Supreme Court on Monday challenging her expulsion from the Lok Sabha, after the house adopted the report of its ethics committee that held her guilty of accepting gifts and illegal gratification from a businessman to further his interest.

On December 8, after a heated debate in the Lok Sabha over the panel report during which Moitra was not allowed to speak, Union 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.

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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 report 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.

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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. (PTI)

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