Adhir writes to LS Speaker on ethics panel proceedings against Mahua Moitra in ‘cash-for-query’ case

New Delhi: The Congress’ Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Saturday wrote to Speaker Om Birla on the Ethics Committee’s proceedings against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra in a “cash-for-query” case and demanded a relook and appropriate review of the rules and processes on the functioning of parliamentary committees.

In a four-page letter to the speaker, Chowdhury said there is no clear-cut distinction in the roles envisaged for the Privileges Committee and the Ethics Committee, more so in exercising penal powers.

Additionally, he said there is no clear definition of “unethical conduct” and a “code of conduct” — though envisaged under Rule 316B of the Rules of Procedure — remains to be formulated.

These issues, inclusive of the procedures being followed by the committee — which have a significant bearing and influence on the polity — may require deeper attention and the processes to be streamlined under the speaker’s guidance, he said in the letter.

Chowdhury, who is also chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said the views expressed by him are in his personal capacity.

The report of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee recommending the expulsion of Moitra in the “cash-for-query” case will be tabled in the lower house on Monday.

According to the agenda papers circulated by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, Ethics Committee Chairperson Vinod Kumar Sonkar will lay on the table of the House the panel’s first report.

The committee, at a meeting on November 9, adopted its report recommending Moitra’s expulsion from the Lok Sabha over the “cash-for-query” allegation.