Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh): Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey on Wednesday said that the allegations on TMC MP Mahua Moitra are much more 'serious' than the 2005 cash for query scam case, in which 11 Members of Parliament were suspended.
The BJP MP, who wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla alleging that Moitra took bribes from Dubai-based businessman Hiranandani to raise questions in Parliament, said that MPs have been suspended in the past for asking questions for Rs 10,000 in the Parliament.
"MPs have been suspended in the Parliament for asking questions for Rs 10,000. This (Moitra's case) is a more serious matter than that," Dubey said while speaking to reporters in Gwalior.
When asked about Lok Sabha Ethics Committee's summon to Mahua Moitra on Thursday, he said that as per rules, it would be unappropriate to speak on the matter which is already being probed by the panel.
He, however, said that he would reply on the matter after the Committee's verdict.
In 2005, 11 then MPs-- Chhatarpal Singh Lodha (BJP), Anna Saheb M K Patil (BJP), Manoj Kumar (RJD), Chandra Pratap Singh (BJP), Ram Sewak Singh (Congress), Narender Kumar Kushwaha (BSP), Pradeep Gandhi (BJP), Suresh Chandel (BJP), Lal Chandra Kol (BSP), YG Mahajan (BJP), Raja Rampal (BSP)-- were accused of involved in a 'cash-for-query' scam.
According to reports, a sting operation was conducted against these MPs by the two journalists and was telecasted on a private news channel on 12 December, 2005 and came to be known as cash-for-question scam.
The suspended lawmakers challenged the expulsion, but it was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 2007 judgment.
Meanwhile, Moitra has written to the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee that she will appear before it for the hearing on November 2-- the summoned date-- and has asked for permission to cross-examine the alleged 'bribe giver' Darshan Hiranandani and the complainant, Advocate Jai Dehadrai.
The TMC Lok Sabha MP on Wednesday made public her letter to the Ethics Committee Chairman and BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar.
Posting the two-page letter on her X handle, Moitra said, "Since the Since Ethics Committee deemed it fit to release my summons to the media I think it is important I too release my letter to the Committee before my "hearing" tomorrow." In her letter, Moitra alleged that Advocate Dehadrai had provided no documentary evidence to back his allegations in either his written complaint and neither could he provide any evidence in his oral hearing.
"In keeping with the principles of natural justice I wish to exercise my right to cross-examine Dehadrai," she wrote in her letter to the Committee.
"In light of the seriousness of the allegations, it is imperative that the alleged 'bribe-giver' Darshan Hiranandani, who has given a 'Suo-Motu' affidavit to the Committee with scant details and no documentary evidence whatsoever, be called to depose before the Committee and provide the said evidence in the form of a documented itemised inventory with amounts, date etc" she further wrote.
"I wish to place on record that in keeping with the principles of natural Justice I wish to exercise my right to cross-examine Hiranandani," she added.
Moitra had asked the Committee to answer in writing and place on record their decision to either allow or disallow such cross-examination.