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Suspended MPs Will Not Be Able to Attend Meetings of Parliamentary Panels – News18


Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and some other MPs suspended from Parliament will not be able to attend the meetings of parliamentary committees of which they are a member or chairperson till their suspension is revoked.

Chowdhury, who heads the all-important Public Accounts Committee, will not be able to take part in its meeting. Similarly, he will not be allowed in the meetings of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs of which he is a member till his suspension continues.

He is also a member of the business advisory committee of the Lok Sabha, the General Purposes Committee, the Parliamentary Budget Committee and the Consultative Committee on Defence.

”I will not be able to attend the meetings of any of the parliamentary panels as I stand suspended from the Lok Sabha,” Chowdhury told PTI.

He, however, said that he is actively considering moving court against his suspension and talks are underway with legal experts in this regard.

Chowdhury was suspended from Lok Sabha on August 10, for ”repeated misconduct”, pending an investigation by the privileges committee.

Sources said that Chowdhury will, however, be able to attend the meetings of the various government selection panels in which he is a member as the leader of the principal opposition party in the Lok Sabha.

Chowdhury is a member of the panels for the selection of the CBI chief, the Chief Information Commissioner, the Central Vigilance Commissioner, the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners.

He is also a member of the selection panels for Lokpal and all awards presented by the Ministry of Culture, including the Gandhi Peace Prize.

A noted lawyer said Chowdhury continues to be a leader of the principal opposition party and so he can continue to attend the meetings of government panels.

His party colleague Manish Tewari said Chowdhury’s suspension from the House ”is a fit case for moving court”.

Tewari said Article 105 (1) of the Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech and expression of MPs in Parliament subject to the rules and procedures of the House.

He said these privileges were examined by the court in the JMM bribery case and in the Raja Rampal case, where ”the Supreme Court has said that a limited review of the actions of proceedings of Parliament is possible” by the court.

”The Speaker has not suspended Chowdhury using his powers. The MPs have been suspended through a resolution adopted by the house because of the majority that the ruling party enjoys,” he said.

”Can Parliamentary majority be used to weaponise suspension from the House, even when the privileges committee is determining whether they have committed any violation of the rules, when it is under examination and it is yet to give a report, which will be voted upon after discussion in the House,” Tewari told PTI.

He alleged, ”What is being done is totally arbitrary and unconstitutional as the tyranny of a majority is being used to suspend MPs. This is absolutely a fit case to move court.” Tewari, himself a lawyer, said, ”If the ruling party is going to suspend everyone who speaks against them, then what happens to the privileges of an MP”.

Similarly, other MPs will also not be able to attend the meetings of various Parliamentary Committees.

While AAP’s Sushil Kumar Rinku is not a member of any parliamentary panel, his party colleague Raghav Chadha is a member of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and Subordinate Legislation.

Chadha was suspended on August 11 from Rajya Sabha for ”gross violation of rule, misconduct, defiant attitude and contemptuous conduct”, pending a report by the privileges committee.

His colleague Sanjay Singh is a member of the Business Advisory Committee of Rajya Sabha and a member of the Standing Committee on Petitions, the panel on Ethics and the Committee on Housing and Urban Affairs.

Four MPs – Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Sushil Kumar Rinku from Lok Sabha, and Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chadha from Rajya Sabha- have been suspended over their conduct in the House.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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