On Friday, concerns were raised by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Danish Ali, who alleged that the report from Lok Sabha’s ethics panel regarding the ‘cash-for-query’ case involving TMC MP Mahua Moitra seemed to have been externally authored. Ali pointed out that BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, not a member of the pertinent committee, had access to confidential details of the report.
Expressing doubt, Ali commented, “It appears that Nishikant Dubey (the complainant) is the most well-informed person in this Lok Sabha. He gains insights into confidential reports and details such as the number of log-ins beforehand and even tweets about it.” According to Ali, the contents of the report were disclosed before its official presentation.
The ethics committee, under the leadership of BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar, submitted the report on the ‘cash-for-query’ allegations against Moitra. The report suggested the expulsion of Moitra from the Lower House, accusing her of accepting ‘illegal gratifications’ from industrialist Darshan Hiranandani to raise questions in the Lok Sabha. The committee recommended Moitra’s expulsion for ‘unethical conduct’ and ‘contempt of the House.’
Ali questioned the accountability of disclosing confidential reports to the media, citing a violation of Rule 275 of the Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha. He emphasized Dubey, a non-committee member, tweeting confidential reports. “Everything is being revealed, indicating that the script had been crafted elsewhere,” Ali added.
The 479-page report was adopted with a six-four majority. After its submission to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Moitra criticized it as a predetermined outcome by a ‘kangaroo court’ and a blow to parliamentary democracy.