M A I N   N E W S

4 MPs suspended till March 22
MPLADS scam report tabled in House
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 14
The four Lok Sabha members named in the MPLADS scam got the benefit of the doubt from a parliamentary committee probe as there was lack of clinching evidence to show that they had accepted money for recommending the release of money under their respective MPLADS funds.

The probe panel recommended that they be reprimanded and suspended till March 22, when the first leg of the Budget session would conclude.

The seven-member V. Kishire Chandra Deo panel’s recommendations came within months of the expulsion of 10 Lok Sabha members in the cash-for-query scam.

The 51-page report maintained that the conduct of none of the four members was above board and they needed to be handed out appropriate punishment.

It gave the benefit of the doubt to the four law-makers, saying the improper conduct on their part did not strictly speaking relate to their parliamentary duties and none of the said members was actually shown as accepting money.

“Mr Alemao Churchill (Cong), Mr Paras Nath Yadav (SP), Mr Faggan Singh Kulaste (BJP) and Mr Ramswaroop Koli (BJP) may be reprimanded and suspended from the membership of the House till March 22,” recommended the report, tabled in the House today.

The period of abstention from sittings of the House and committees by the four MPs on the directions of the Speaker might be deemed to be their suspension from the membership of the House, it said.

“The committee feels that the conduct of Churchill and Yadav was improper and unethical and of Kulaste and Koli irresponsible and negligent and it clearly amounts to an act of impropriety,” the report said.

The committee suggested that NGOs and private institutions be barred from getting funds under the MPLADS since it felt that most such NGOs were facades of unscrupulous organisations to usurp funds from the MPLADS.

The committee also recommended that the government suitably revise guidelines governing the MPLADS with a view to plugging loopholes and lacunae and initiate steps for laying guidelines and norms for sting operators.

Taking strong exception to the leak of the report to the media, the Speaker said, “I am very sorry to say that the contents of this report have come out in papers. This is gross breach of privilege. I hope that in the future, all of us will be more circumspect in this matter. This is a matter of great sorrow for me. Whoever is responsible has not done much credit to himself or to this great institution”.

The matter had initially been referred by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to the inquiry committee headed by Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, who subsequently resigned after some members raised objections when his name figured in a controversy involving the MPLADS.

The case of Rajya Sabha MPs involved in the scam was pending before the ethics panel of the Upper House, headed by Congress MP Karan Singh.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |