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Speaker asks Katara not to attend session
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 26
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today asked BJP MP Babubhai Katara not to attend the sittings of the lower House till leaders of political parties decide his fate in view of his alleged involvement in ‘smuggling’ of a woman and a teenager to Canada on the passports of his wife and son on April 18.

As the Lok Sabha met for the second part of the Budget session, the Speaker took up the issue and proposed to hold a meeting of leaders of political parties in the House to discuss how such matters should be dealt with so that prestige of this great institution was upheld.

Chatterjee said he had discussed the matter with leaders of various political parties yesterday and it had been unanimously agreed upon that the Lok Sabha should not only express its concern but should condemn the commission of the alleged offence by the member of this august House.

“Accordingly, on behalf of the House and on my behalf, I strongly disapprove of the conduct of the member and condemn the same,” he said after informing the members about Katara's arrest on April 18.

The Speaker asked Katara not to attend sittings of the House till the matter relating to him has been deliberated upon by leaders of political parties in the Lok Sabha and a decision is taken. “The Lok Sabha is distressed and expresses its firm determination to take all necessary action, so that the dignity of the House is not tarnished,” he said.

Prior to the Speaker's suo motu statement, some members tried to raise the matter relating to Katara's arrest but were disallowed by the Chair.

“You are interrupting the speaker. If anybody is impatient, he may leave the House,” Chatterjee said while asking members to allow him to speak.

Katara was arrested at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport when he was allegedly trying to smuggle out a woman and a boy to Canada after forging passports of his wife and son.

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