New Delhi, Oct 28 (SocialNews.XYZ) Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha on Saturday came out in support of Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra who is facing 'cash for parliament questions' allegations, saying that she is "entitled to question" Dubai-based businessman Darshan Hiranandani if the Ethics Committee is using his affidavit statement against her or else it will be "travesty of natural justice".
Tankha, who is also a noted lawyer said, "Parliamentarian Moitra is entitled in law to quiz Dubai-based businessman Darshan Hiranandani, if the Ethics Committee is using his affidavit statement against her or else it will be travesty of law and natural justice.
"Admittedly the proceedings before the Ethics committee is an exercise of power and jurisdiction of quasi judicial nature. An adverse final order may impact a member's constitutional right to perform duties as a parliamentarian. The committee must provide full opportunity to Moitra," the Congress leader said.
His remarks came a day after Moitra sent a letter to the Ethics Committee Chairperson Vinod Sonkar saying that she will depose on any date after November 5 after her pre-scheduled constituency programme ends.
In her two-page letter to Sonkar, the Trinamool Congress MP from West Bengal's Krishnanagar said that an affidavit notarised at the Indian High Commission in Dubai on October 20 was submitted on a suo moto basis to the Committee and released publicly to the media by Hiranandani.
She said that Hiranandani in a public interview to a news channel on October 23 expressed his willingness to appear before the committee.
"His affidavit available in the public domain, is extremely scant on detail and provides no actual inventory of what he has allegedly given me. Given the seriousness of the allegations and in keeping with the principles of natural justice, it is imperative that I am allowed to exercise my right to cross-examine Hiranandani," she said.
"It is also imperative that he appear before the committee and provide a detailed verified list of the alleged gifts and favours he allegedly provided to me," Moitra said.
She further said that she wish to place on record that any inquiry without the oral evidence of Hiranandani will be incomplete, unfair and akin to holding a proverbial "kangaroo court" and that he too will need to be called to depose before the Committee before it prepares its final report.
The Ethics Committee on October 26 also questioned BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and Supreme Court lawyer and complainant Jai Anant Dehadrai on the issue.
Dubey had written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla seeking an inquiry against Moitra and her immediate suspension from the house for taking cash for questioning.
Birla had then referred the matter to the Ethics Committee.