FAQs on Lok Sabha Ethics Committee and the Mahua Moitra Case
Q1: What is the current controversy surrounding TMC MP Mahua Moitra?
Answer: Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra is facing an inquiry by the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee over allegations of bribery and misconduct. Businessman Darshan Hiranandani has claimed that he paid Moitra to raise specific questions in the Parliament on his behalf.
Q2: What is the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee and its purpose?
Answer: The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee is a body that investigates any complaint related to the unethical conduct of a Lok Sabha member. It ensures that members adhere to established ethical standards and moral conduct.
Q3: How was the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee formed?
Answer: The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee was constituted in 2000. It became a permanent feature of the House in 2015. Its formation was based on an ethics committee report prepared in 1997 after studying lawmaker ethics and conduct in countries like Australia, the UK, and the US.
Q4: What powers does the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee possess?
Answer: The Ethics Committee can conduct investigations, summon witnesses, and documents. It can recommend corrective actions against members found guilty of ethical misconduct or violation of the code of conduct.
Q5: What’s the difference between the Ethics Committee and the Privileges Committee?
Answer: Both are concerned with maintaining the dignity of Parliament and its members. The Ethics Committee deals with ethical misconduct or code violations, while the Privileges Committee handles breaches of privilege or contempt of Parliament.
Q6: Who can file a complaint with the Ethics Committee?
Answer: Anyone can file a complaint regarding a member’s alleged unethical behavior. However, they must reveal their identity and provide supporting evidence. The committee may keep the complainant’s identity confidential.
Q7: What actions can the Ethics Committee take against guilty MPs?
Answer: The committee can recommend penalties such as censure, reprimand, suspension from the House for a specific period, or any other deemed appropriate penalty.
Q8: Can the Ethics Committee take suo motu actions?
Answer: Yes, the Ethics Committee can take up issues on its own, without any external complaint.
Q9: What is the procedure once a complaint is deemed valid?
Answer: If a complaint is valid and within the committee’s jurisdiction, it conducts a preliminary inquiry. If the complaint is false, it’s considered a breach of parliamentary privilege. If proven, the committee recommends an appropriate penalty.
Q10: How does the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee differ from the Rajya Sabha Ethics Committee?
Answer: The Rajya Sabha Ethics Committee was constituted earlier, in 1997, and has its own set of guidelines and procedures. The Lok Sabha committee was made permanent in 2015 and has its procedures based on previous studies and recommendations.
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