Updated March 19th, 2024 at 23:40 IST

Lokpal Directs CBI to Probe 'Cash For Query' Case Against TMC Leader Mahua Moitra

The CBI is likely to file an FIR against Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra after the Lokpal directed the central probe agency to initiate an investigation.

Reported by: Abhishek Tiwari
Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra | Image:PTI
Advertisement

CBI to File Case Against Mahua Moitra: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to file an FIR against Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra after the Lokpal on Tuesday directed the central probe agency to initiate an investigation observing that there is sufficient prima facie evidence on record that deserves deeper scrutiny. The CBI is now likely to probe the allegations of cash for query against Mahua Moitra under Prevention of Corruption Act.

The Lokpal order stated, “Accordingly, we direct the CBI, under Section 20(3)(a) to investigate all aspects of the allegations made in the complaint, and submit a copy of the Investigation Report within a period of six months from the date of receipt of this order. The CBI shall also file periodical reports regarding the status of the investigation, every month.” 

Advertisement

Delhi High Court had earlier denied interim relief to the TMC leader


Earlier this month, the Delhi High Court had denied interim relief to the TMC leader in connection to the cash for query case.

Moitra had approached the court to restrain BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and lawyer Jai Anand Dehradai from making statements against her in regard to the said case.

Advertisement

On December 20, 2023 the HC had reserved its order on the interim application after hearing the counsel for Moitra, Dubey and Dehadrai.

The Lokpal in its order in the cash for query case against Mahua Moitra, observed that there is sufficient prima facie evidence on record that deserves deeper scrutiny, while mentioning that a public servant is bound to exercise probity in the discharge of their duties as a public servant.

Advertisement

Observing the severity of the case, the Lokpal ordered the CBI to investigate the allegations under section 20(3)(a) and submit a copy of the investigation report within a period of six months.

Mahua Moitra was levelled with allegations of asking questions in Lok Sabha to target Gautam Adani

Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra has been facing allegations of asking questions in Lok Sabha to target Gautam Adani at the behest of businessman Darshan Hiranandani. The TMC MP has denied charges of taking bribes and claimed she was being targeted as she had raised questions on the deals of the Adani group.

However, she has admitted to sharing her parliamentary log-in details with Hiranandani, whom she called her "friend."

Advertisement

Last year, in a signed affidavit submitted to the Lok Sabha committee, businessman Hiranandani admitted to using the TMC MP's parliamentary login to ask questions targeting Adani. This was after the state-owned behemoth Indian Oil Corporation booked capacity at the Gujarat-based conglomerate's Dhamra LNG import facility in Odisha and not at his firm's planned facility.

Moitra was expelled from Lok Sabha in December 2023

In December last year, Mahua Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha for "unethical conduct" after which she moved the Supreme Court challenging her expulsion.

She has been renominated by the party as its candidate from the Krishnanagar Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal.

Advertisement

The Lokpal directive came while deciding a complaint by BJP Lok Sabha member Nishikant Dubey alleging that Moitra had asked questions in the Lower House of Parliament in exchange for cash and gifts from Dubai-based businessman Darshan Hiranandani.

"After careful evaluation and consideration of the entire material on record, there remains no doubt regarding the fact that the allegations levelled against the RPS (Respondent Public Servant), most of which are supported by cogent evidence, are extremely serious in nature, especially in view of the position held by her," reads the Lokpal order.

Advertisement

It has referred to Moitra as the RPS in the order.

"Therefore, in our considered opinion, a deeper probe is required to establish the truth. This is vital in view of the position and status held by the RPS at the relevant point of time," said the order of the Lokpal bench comprising Justice Abhilasha Kumari (judicial member) and Members Archana Ramasundaram and Mahender Singh.

Advertisement

Published March 19th, 2024 at 22:04 IST