Rajya Sabha chairman cautions MPs on unsubstantiated remarks

NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday cautioned MPs that they should not make unsubstantiated remarks as that can tantamount to a breach of privilege of the House.

His remarks came after Aam Aadmi Party member Sanjay Singh alleged the
government was misusing its investigative agencies to target Opposition leaders. Raising the issue in Zero Hour, Mr Singh said that in the past eight years, the Enforcement Directorate had conducted 3,000 raids on the Opposition leaders, but only 23 persons could be convicted.

Some members from the treasury benches objected to the remarks, prompting the Chair to intervene.

Mr Dhankhar said anything being spoken in the House has to be precise and with sanctity and ownership. “We cannot allow any member to give out facts that are not substantiated and that constitute a very serious breach of privilege. I am very particular about it...”

The Upper House Chairman also said a newspaper report or an opinion given by someone has absolutely no consequence. He said legally admissible documentation must be the premise of making any allegation in the House.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said that members use the information provided in replies to Parliament questions, media reports and also statements made by the Prime Minister outside the House.

When the Chair asked Leader of the House Piyush Goyal to speak, he said the claim made in the House that 3,000 raids had been made on political people was totally erroneous and without any substance.

Mr Goyal said there was a special directive from the court that action should be taken against MPs and MLAs who are found to be culpable in economic or other offences.

Continuing his Zero Hour mention, Mr Singh alleged that the government was not taking action against offenders like Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi and others, but had put Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena MP) and Satyendra Jain (Delhi minister) in jail. He also said agencies conducted raids on the residence of Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.

According to him, the investigative agencies were not taking action against corrupt people "connected with you (ruling party)”.

The Chairman said he would not allow the platform of the Rajya Sabha to be used for making sweeping statements.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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