Lok Sabha Ethics Committee is believed to have indicted TMC MP Mahua Moitra in its report on cash-for-query allegations and suggested her expulsion from the Lower House for allegedly indulging in “unethical behaviour”. Six members supported the panel findings while four submitted dissent notes alleging that the inquiry was not free and fair, and was done in haste.

After the meeting got over, chairman Vinod Sonkar said, “A report had been drafted by the Ethics Committee on the allegations against Mahua Moitra. The report has been drafted in today’s meeting. Six members supported the report while four members submitted their dissent notes...A detailed report is being submitted to the Lok Sabha Speaker tomorrow...The action, whatever it is, will be taken by the Speaker.”

Among the six members who voted for the panel is Preneet Kaur, suspended Congress leader and wife of former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh who has joined the BJP. The panel’s draft report is said to have found Moitra’s conduct “highly objectionable”, “unethical”, and “heinous”. 

Moitra is accused of giving access to her official email login to an outsider who used it to target an industrial house. One of the serious lapses pointed out by the draft report, sources believe, is that Mahua Moitra visited the UAE four times from 2019 to 2023 and her member portal login was accessed 47 times from Dubai.

Opposition dissents

However, four Opposition MPs in their dissent note are said to have taken almost a common plea on a couple of counts. They charged that the inquiry was not just owing to the fact that billionaire Darshan Hiranandani was not summoned by the panel. The businessman shared information with Moitra who used it to take on Adani group, besides he also claimed he gifted her expensive items and also underwrote renovation work at her accommodation she got as a Lok Sabha MP.

The Opposition MPs -- including Danish Ali of BSP, Girdhar Yadav of Janata Dal United, and Congress’ N Uttam Kumar Reddy -- have also stated that there are no rules on the use of NIC official email id by MPs. Sources stated that N Uttam Kumar Reddy is said to have questioned the “unprecedented manner of functioning” of committee which he alleged was “entirely illegal”. He is understood to have stated that “unsubstantiated allegations” against an MP about her personal life was allowed to be converted into a complaint by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey.

On charges of impropriety, Reddy, who was not present in Thursday’s meeting, is said to have told the panel that no documentary evidence of any cash or bribe either given or taken was offered by complainant.

Similarly, Danish Ali is believed to have flagged in his dissent note that crucial one-and-half-hour proceedings of the first meeting of the committee was not recorded in the adopted draft report, where some members questioned why personal matters of Moitra was made a subject of an inquiry.