Supreme Court Delays Hearing on Mahua Moitra’s Expulsion from Lok Sabha to January 3, 2024

In a recent development, the Supreme Court has adjourned the plea filed by Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) leader Mahua Moitra challenging her expulsion from the Lok Sabha in a cash-for-query case. The bench, comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti, postponed the hearing to January 3, 2024, citing the need to thoroughly review the case files.

Justice Khanna informed senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Moitra, that he had received the case file on the same day and had not had sufficient time to examine it. Expressing the desire to go through the details, he proposed resuming the hearing on January 3.

Moitra had approached the Supreme Court after being expelled from the Lok Sabha on December 8 following discussions on the Ethics Committee’s report regarding the ‘cash-for-query’ case. During the expulsion proceedings, Moitra, denied an opportunity to speak, criticized the Ethics Committee, vowing to fight back both inside and outside Parliament.

The expelled MP contends that she has been unfairly found guilty of violating a non-existent code of ethics. Moitra alleges that the committee’s findings are solely based on conflicting written testimonies from two private citizens, one of whom is her estranged partner. She claims that her right to cross-examine them was denied, and the testimonies were used to present contradictory accounts.

The Ethics Committee’s report on the ‘Unethical Conduct’ of the TMC MP recommended her expulsion from the Lok Sabha, advocating for an intense, legal, institutional inquiry by the central government within a defined timeframe. Adopted by a 6:4 majority, the report disclosed Moitra’s visits to the UAE four times from 2019 to 2023, with multiple logins accessing her account during that period.

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