Expelled MPs must be tried by courts

I endorse the view in the editorial Good riddance (Dec 24) that “11 MPs committed an equally serious crime against the symbol of democracy” as did the foreign sponsored terrorists’ assault on Parliament. I am sure, the expelled MPs will not get reprieve, should they seek the judicial intervention.

Hopefully, the entire process of investigation and expulsion will help set a healthy convention in our polity. Can a similar mechanism be put in place to deal with MPs getting elected with criminal records? I think it is feasible.

Sting operations should have statutory sanction to tame sullied politicians.

(retd), Mohali

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I refer to the editorial “Throw them out” (Dec 21). The 18 MPs involved in the two string operations should be barred from entering Parliament for life. Expulsion is not enough. Criminal charges should be filed against them and they must be tried by the courts under the Prevention of Corruption Act. In view of the rampant misuse of the MPs’ Local Area Development Scheme, this must be scrapped forthwith. All the MPs cannot be tarred with the same brush. But gross misuse of the scheme is common knowledge.

There is need to enforce accountability on the MPs for their actions. The leaders of political parties should themselves make their members accountable.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana


One needs to examine the legal implications of the expulsion of 11 MPs. In Hardwari Lal vs the State of Haryana (1977), the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ruled that Parliament and State Assemblies have no right to expel members. This inference was drawn from the Supreme Court ruling in Keshav Singh vs Union of India (Presidential Reference) that Indian Parliament and state legislatures have no power to reconstitute themselves.

The power to expel an MP or MLA amounts to exercising the power to reconstitute and hence illegal. The right course would have been that these MPs should have been expelled by their respective political parties. This step would have led to their automatic expulsion under the Anti-Defection Act. The Bahujan Samaj Party has done it now.

R.N. MALIK, Panchkula


To safeguard his gaddi, the late Narasimha Rao played with taxpayers and offered an inducement of Rs 1 crore to each MP through the Local Area Development Scheme. Later, Mr Vajpayee hiked it to Rs 2 crore to each MP. Luckily, he refused to hike it further to Rs 5 crore each!

The NDA government did not take corrective steps to plug loopholes in the scheme. If the Centre scraps it, there will be a net saving of Rs 1,500 crore in a year. Only then, people would be spared of fresh dose of taxes for some years. Come February, people are given a new dose of taxes in the name of development. Is there no end to it? This has been happening in the past 58 years.

K.K. BHARDWAJ, Patiala


The two sting operations and subsequent expulsion of 11 MPs remind me of the famous story of a prince during my tenure in the Indian Navy. This prince was so popular that he never allowed people to meet the king until he was paid money. Fed up with the complaints, the king deported him to an island where no one lived. He was allowed to carry with him provisions for a year so that on completion of his stay there, he could return as a reformed prince.

It so happened that the prince once impounded a ship and released it after the captain paid him huge money. He soon built a mansion and proclaimed himself the king. When his father sent his ministers to escort him back, he refused to return saying that he himself was the king. The moral of the story is that corruption will continue as long as our leaders use politics as an instrument of self-aggrandisement.


Unsafe trains

After the rape of a lady passenger on a Mumbai-bound train, security has been beefed up by posting additional police personnel in all trains, including suburban services. However, with so many Mumbai policemen having been suspended or terminated from service in recent weeks for offences of rape and consumption of alcohol while on duty, it is like rubbing salt into the wound.

May be, it is time to empower women with pepper sprays as long as they solemnly undertake not to use them in a fit of anger on their husbands or caring lovers.


VLCC clarifies

Appropos the news item "Vandana Luthra’s husband denied bail" published in September, 2002, VLCC Health Care Limited clarifies that by the order of the Special Director, Enforcement Directorate, Mri S. K. Panda, dated March 31, 2004, all proceedings against the said noticee, Mr Mukesh Luthra, Propreitor of M/s Shiva International Fashions, have been dropped.

Assistant Vice-President,
Corporate Communications and PR,
VLCC Health Care Limited, Gurgaon 


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