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'You heard complainants first': Mahua Moitra seeks more time from Lok Sabha Ethics Committee

Mahua Moitra argued that she should be allowed to exercise her right to cross-examine industrialist Hiranandani, who is central to the allegations. She stressed the importance of Hiranandani appearing before the committee and providing a verified list of the purported gifts and favors he allegedly put upon her.

You heard complainants first: Mahua Moitra seeks more time from Lok Sabha Ethics Committee AJR
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First Published Oct 27, 2023, 2:43 PM IST

Trinamool Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra has responded to the summons issued by the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee regarding the cash-for-questions allegations. In her reply, she conveyed her inability to appear before the committee on the initially scheduled date of October 31. However, she expressed her willingness to present herself in-person before the committee at a date and time of their choice, as long as it falls after November 5.

The Lok Sabha MP cited her engagement in the Durga Puja festivities, emphasizing its significance in West Bengal, the state she represents. Mahua Moitra explained that she already had commitments related to numerous pre-scheduled Vijaya Dashami Sammelans and meetings, both governmental and political, in her constituency from October 30 to November 4, 2023. Consequently, she would be unable to be in Delhi on October 31, 2023.

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In her response, Mahua expressed her eagerness to have a fair opportunity to defend herself against the complaints made by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and advocate Jai Annant Dehadrai. She noted her dissatisfaction with the committee's decision to summon and hear the complainants first, which, in her view, contravened the principles of natural justice.

Requesting an extension for her in-person appearance, Mahua Moitra referred to the case of Lok Sabha MP Ramesh Bidhuri, who was granted additional time due to pre-existing election-related work commitments.

Furthermore, Mahua Moitra argued that she should be allowed to exercise her right to cross-examine industrialist Hiranandani, who is central to the allegations. She stressed the importance of Hiranandani appearing before the committee and providing a verified list of the purported gifts and favors he allegedly put upon her. She asserted that any inquiry without the oral testimony of Shri Hiranandani would be incomplete and unfair, comparing it to a "kangaroo court." She concluded by asserting the need for Hiranandani's deposition before the committee to ensure a comprehensive and equitable investigation.

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