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SC To Hear On Monday TMC Leader Mahua Moitra's Plea Against Her Expulsion From LS

A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta will hear the plea, in which the court had earlier refused to grant interim relief to Moitra, who had sought permission to attend the Lok Sabha proceedings till the final adjudication of her plea.

SC to hear on Monday a plea moved by TMC leader Mahua Moitra
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The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday a plea moved by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mahua Moitra challenging her expulsion from the Lok Sabha.

A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta will hear the plea, in which the court had earlier refused to grant interim relief to Moitra, who had sought permission to attend the Lok Sabha proceedings till the final adjudication of her plea.

The top court had, on January 3, sought the Lok Sabha secretariat's response while observing that one of the issues that arises is with regard to the jurisdiction of courts and power of judicial review in the matter.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Lok Sabha secretary general, had urged the court not to venture into the internal matter of discipline of another sovereign organ of the State.

He had said Parliament can internally manage disciplinary issues involving its members through its in-house procedures that are not amenable to a judicial review and hence, Moitra's plea is not maintainable.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing in the court on behalf of Moitra, had submitted that contrary to the theories floating around, the TMC leader was expelled from the Lok Sabha for sharing her parliamentary log-in credentials. Moitra, he had said, was expelled under a rule for hacking.

On December 8 last year, after a heated debate in the Lok Sabha over a panel report, during which Moitra was not allowed to speak, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi moved a motion to expel the TMC MP from the House for "unethical conduct". The motion was adopted by a voice vote.

The ethics committee of the Lok Sabha found Moitra guilty of "unethical conduct" and contempt of the House as she had shared her Lok Sabha members' portal credentials -- user ID and password -- with unauthorised people, which had an irrepressible impact on national security, Joshi had said.

The committee had also recommended that in view of the "highly-objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal conduct" of Moitra, an intense legal and institutional inquiry be initiated by the government with a deadline.

The motion moved by Joshi said Moitra's "conduct has further been found to be unbecoming as an MP for accepting gifts and illegal gratification from a businessman (Darshan Hiranandani) to further his interest, which is a serious misdemeanour and highly-deplorable conduct" on her part.

Earlier, ethics committee Chairman Vinod Kumar Sonkar had tabled the first panel report on a complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey against Moitra.

In October last year, Dubey, on the basis of a complaint submitted by Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai, alleged that Moitra had asked questions in the Lok Sabha in exchange for cash and gifts from Hiranandani to mount an attack on industrialist Gautam Adani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In an affidavit to the ethics committee on October 19 last year, Hiranandani claimed that Moitra had shared her log-in ID and password for the Lok Sabha members' website with him. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a preliminary FIR in the case.

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