House panel gets 2 more weeks to submit report on Mann issue

New Delhi: Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today granted two more weeks to the Lok Sabha panel probing the issue regarding Bhagwant Mann shooting a video of the Parliament complex and asked the AAP member not to attend the House till a decision was taken on the matter.

The decision followed a request from panel chairman Kirit Somaiya seeking more time as more witnesses needed to be examined and certain critical issues probed in depth.

Somaiya has submitted that in view of the gravity of the matter, the unanimous view among members of the committee was that for doing justice to the panel’s remit, it needed some more time, the Speaker said.

“On due consideration of grounds and reasons stated, I have acceded to the request for extension of two weeks more time w.e.f. August 4, 2016,” Mahajan informed the House.

The nine-member committee, set up on July 25, was to submit its report by today.

“As earlier observed by me, in view of seriousness of the matter, Bhagwant Mann, MP is further advised not to attend the sittings of the House until a decision is taken in the matter,” Mahajan said.

On July 25 too, the Speaker had asked Mann not to attend the House till a decision was arrived at.

The panel was set up a week after Mann had put out in the social media a video of his vehicle passing security barricades and entering the Parliament complex. He had also videographed a room where Parliament questions were being sorted.

Besides Somaiya, the panel has two other BJP members — Meenakshi Lekhi and Satyapal Singh. The others are Anandrao Adsul (Shiv Sena), B Mahab (BJD), Ratna De (TMC), Thota Narasimham (TDP), K C Venugopal (Cong) and P Venugopal (AIADMK).

On August 1, a defiant Mann told the panel that he has not breached the security of Parliament complex. Last week, in a five-page letter, Mann had refused to tender an unqualified apology.

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