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Mahua Moitree Expelled !! by Ethics Committee

Posted on the 08 December 2023 by Sampathkumar Sampath

Expulsion of high decibel MP ! and what else can happen !?

Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituency is one of the 42 Lok Sabha (parliamentary) constituencies in West Bengal state.  Its representative Mahua Moitra stands disqualified and expelled from the Lok Sabha today.   Moitra worked as an investment banker for JPMorgan Chase in New York City and London.

Mahua Moitree expelled !! by Ethics Committee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee strongly condemned her party colleague Mahua Moitra's expulsion from the Lok Sabha and accused the BJP of doing "vendetta politics". Banerjee alleged the Centre did "bypass surgery of democracy". Terming the development a "sad day" for Parliament, Banerjee said the Lok Sabha's decision to expel Moitra was a "betrayal" of constitutional rights. "We also have a two-thirds majority (in West Bengal) and can expel anyone right now. But can we do that? Only two to three months are left for (Lok Sabha) election. This is unfortunate and cannot be accepted," she added.  "Our party support Mahua's case. She is a woman and belongs to the young generation. Mahua will win the next battle and people will give justice to her with a befitting reply.

In case you had an iota of doubt of such vendetta, one needs to read further.  On 14 October 2023, Supreme Court advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai sent a complaint to CBI with an FIR alleging Moitra of corruption and money laundering. A copy was submitted to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha as well who forwarded the matter to the Ethics Committee of the parliament. Dehadrai accused that Moitra received money and favours from Darshan Hiranandani, head of a rival conglomerate of Adani Group, to ask parliamentary questions targeting Adani.  On 19 October 2023, Hiranandani turned approver, and in an affidavit claimed that Moitra indeed received favours, and also gave him access to her account on parliament of India's website to directly post questions on her behalf.

The allegations against Moitra were raised by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who accused the TMC of asking questions in Parliament "in exchange for cash and gifts" from businessman Darshan Hiranandani. The BJP MP had cited advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai's letter which mentioned "irrefutable evidence" of the alleged exchange between Moitra and Hiranandani.

The Ethics Committee had pronounced its findings and recommended expulsion.  Finding her guilty of “unethical conduct” and “contempt of the House” for sharing her user ID and password with “unauthorised persons” — and saying this affected national security — the committee recommended her expulsion as a member of the House.

The report added :  Given her “objectionable”, “unethical”, “heinous”, and “criminal” conduct, the ethics panel recommended an “intense, legal and institutional” inquiry by the government in a time-bound manner. Given that it senses a rise in unruly behaviour by MPs, which was seen on November 2 on TV when Moitra, Ali, and others stormed out of a meeting of the committee, the panel requested the Lok Sabha Speaker to frame a new “set of rules” to contain unruly behavior of MPs.

According to the 104-page report, between January 1, 2019, and September 30, 2023, Moitra visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on four occasions allegedly for her meetings with Hiranandani — she said her visits were not aimed at meeting him, though some meetings did happen — but there were no logins on these dates. This, said the committee, showed that someone else had been logging in on her behalf from Dubai. It said the IP address for all 47 logins from Dubai was the same

Mahua Moitree expelled !! by Ethics Committee

The committee has argued that the sharing of material with Hiranandani, who holds an Indian passport but resides in the UAE and also has relatives who are foreign nationals, created a “serious risk of leakage of sensitive material to foreign agencies”. The report said if the login credentials of MPs were given to an “unauthorised person”, it “enables the person to access “important” documents that may “interfere in the affairs of the parliament by manipulating parliamentary information to serve his/her commercial interests and/for other ulterior motives”.

The committee has concluded that of the 61 questions posed by Moitra on the portal, 50 were with the intent of “protecting or perpetuating business interests” of Hiranandani. The committee cited Section 66 read with Section 43 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, which prescribes punishment for sharing user ID and password in a “fraudulent and dishonest manner” with imprisonment for a term up to three years, a fine up to Rs. 5-lakh, or both.

It is a prestigious People representative position and a privilege to be a Member of the Sabha that governs the Nation.  One dilutes and compromises its integrity by sharing the Login ID & Password with a Company asking Qs that they posed and now argues that there was nothing wrong in that !! 

Nishikant Dubey  recalled that in 2005, 10 MPs were expelled from the House in nine days for a mere Rs 10,000 after a sting operation where no question was asked and no real company existed on behalf of which questions were meant to be asked. He said in this case, questions were asked on behalf of a real company in return for favours. He recalled that MP H G Mudgal got thrown out of the Lok Sabha in 1951 when Jawaharlal Nehru was the prime minister because he had links with the Mumbai bullion. Mudgal had to resign to preempt an expulsion motion moved against him by Nehru himself. Mudgal had been accused of taking Rs 1000 each on two occasions to ask questions on behalf of the Bullion Merchants Association.

Nation understands how serious was the offense and now the Qs in the Parliament stand diluted as people would try and ascribe motives !!

Sad day because of the exposure of the unruly ungainly act of a responsible Member of Parliament

With regards – S Sampathkumar
8.12.2023

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