Mahua asks for more time to face ethics panel | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: TMC MP Mahua Moitra has written to the ethics committee of Lok Sabha expressing inability to appear before it on October 31 in connection with the cash-for-query allegations due to prior engagements and said she will be available only after November 5.
She also said that due to the “seriousness of the allegations” and the “principles of natural justice”, she should be allowed to “cross-examine” businessman Darshan Hiranandani.
In a post on X a day after panel chairperson Vinod Kumar Sonkar announced that she has been summoned on October 31, Moitra said she looked forward to physically presenting her defence against the “slanderous charges”, but was busy till November 4 on account of Durga Puja celebrations in West Bengal.
“Ethics committee announced my summons on live TV way before the official letter emailed to me at 19.20 hours. All complaints and suo moto affidavits also released to the media. I look forward to deposing immediately after my pre-scheduled constituency programmes end on November 4,” she said in the post.
The panel on Thursday recorded statements of advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai and BJP MP Nishikant Dubey.
Moitra said she had written to the panel expressing “eagerness” to be given “a fair hearing and an adequate opportunity to defend myself against the false, malicious and defamatory accusations levelled against me by Dubey and Dehadrai”. “The committee against the order of natural justice, …summoned and heard the complainants Dubey and Dehadrai before allowing me, the alleged accused, a chance to be heard,” she said.
On her request to “cross-examine” Hiranandani, Dubey, said a witness in a case against an MP was protected from cross-examination. “It is not a Court of Rule but a Court of Honour and it depends on the committee how it conducts itself. Besides, read page 246 of Parliament Rules and Procedures by Kaul and Shakdher, which clearly defines who is a witness and the protection to be provided to them by the Parliament,” Dubey said.


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