First day of Parliament's Winter Session: Ethics panel to submit report on cash-for-query case against Mahua Moitra

Ethics panel to submit report on cash-for-query case against Mahua Moitra on first day of Parliament's Winter Session

First day of Parliament's Winter Session: Ethics panel to submit report on cash-for-query case against Mahua Moitra

Ashley Tellis, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, claims that the Biden administration "has bent backwards to avoid a public spat with Delhi," but she also notes that American officials would be troubled by the issues of sovereignty involved in an attack on an American citizen.

“I think the bilateral relationship will survive this fiasco,” he stated. “But it will reinforce the qualms of many who believe that the claims about shared values between the U.S. and India are simply mythology.”

By a vote of 6:4, the report was approved. The report was supported by Preneet Kaur, the wife of former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who is currently with the BJP, according to panel chairman Vinod Sonkar.
In a letter, Dubey had accused Speaker Om Birla of the Lok Sabha of pressuring Moitra to attack the Adani Group at the request of businessman Darshan Hiranandani in exchange for gifts. Advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai, he said, had given him evidence of purported bribes. The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee had heard testimony from Dehadrai and the BJP MP.

According to the sources, Moitra visited the United Arab Emirates four times between 2019 and 2023, according to the preliminary report on her cash-for-questions case.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Information Technology (IT) had provided detailed records on IP address and location, which the Ethics Committee had requested.
The committee also wanted to hear from MHA regarding the risks associated with exchanging login information, with a focus on the legal ramifications under Section IT ACT 2000.

According to what is known, the draught report recommended that Mahua Moitra face harsh punishment for his serious misdemeanours.

“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.

Opposition MPs gave dissent notes on the draft report. “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,” a source said.

Moitra, in a post on X on November 10, had said she was being “unethically expelled”.

“Proud to go down in parliamentary history as 1st person to be unethically expelled by Ethics Comm whose mandate doesn’t include explusion. 1st expel & THEN ask govt to ask CBI to find evidence. Kangaroo court, monkey business from start to finish,” she said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has also initiated an investigation against Moitra to look into ‘quid pro quo’ allegations of raising questions in Parliament, sources said.

In this regard, a senior CBI official said that no Preliminary Enquiry (PE) has been registered, However, an investigation has been initiated as the matter was referred by the anti-corruption body Lokpal.

The winter session of Parliament will conclude on December 22.

(With agency inputs)