Trinamool Congress MP Mohua Moitra will be questioned tomorrow by the Ethics Committee of Lok Sabha in cash for query case. Along with other documents and evidences before the committee, she would also be questioned on the basis of reports received by the committee from three Union ministries, sources have said. The reports from Home, Information Technology and External Affairs ministries are with the committee. The panel had sought information from the three ministries after a meeting held on October 26. Among other things, it had asked whether IP addresses of her log-ins and her locations were the same.
The Ethics Committee hearing has been buttressed by the explosive affidavit of businessman Darshan Hiranandani, who while remaining silent on the cash-for-query issue, has admitted to posting questions on Mahua Moitra’s parliamentary login. If proved, this would comprise Breach of Parliamentary Privilege and enough to get her expelled from the House.
His gifts to Ms Moitra, he wrote in the affidavit, was by way of meeting the demands of the MP, who wanted to politically target Prime Minister Narendra Modi through the Adani Group.
Ms Moitra has said she should be allowed to cross-examine the businessman — a demand she reiterated in her letter to the Ethics Committee today.
In the letter, which she posted on X, formerly Twitter, she remarked that a parliamentary ethics committee may not be the “appropriate forum to examine allegations of alleged criminality”, because the committee lacks the power to examine such allegations.
This, she said, was deliberately kept so by “our nation’s founders” to prevent misuse of committees by government that enjoy brute majority in parliament.
The BJP’s Nishikant Dubey, whose allegations the Ethics Committee is examining, had accused Ms Moitra of “serious Breach of Privilege”, “Contempt of the House” and conspiracy — a ‘Criminal Offence’ under Section 120A of IPC”.
Ms Moitra also pointed out that the committee has not made any code of conduct for MPs to follow and asked the committee to ensure there is “no room for political partisanship” in its functioning.
“It is important to note that till date the committee on ethics has not formulated any code of conduct for members and in fact the committee has not even had any sittings in the past two years. I wish to most respectfully point out that in view of the lack of a structured code of conduct, it is all the more important that each case be dealt with in an objective and fair manner…” the Trinamool Congress MP said in the letter to the ethics committee chairperson.
Quoting media reports today, Mr Dubey posted on X that “questions were asked 47 times in the Lok Sabha from Hiranandani’s mail id and MP portal in Dubai”.
“If this news is correct then all MPs of the country should should stand against Mahua ji’s corruption. Hiranandani asked questions in the Lok Sabha on his own behalf. Have we become MPs to serve the selfish interests of the capitalists?” his tweet read.
Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai, on whose complaint to the Central Bureau of Investigation the entire case rests, was cross-examined by the Ethics Committee on October 26. The Committee has also heard Mr Dubey and is expected to give its report to the Speaker as soon as possible.