Lokpal says, sufficient prima facie evidence against Moitra on record that deserves deeper scrutiny

The Lokpal has ordered a probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against former TMC MP Mahua Moitra in cash-for-query charges. The Lokpal in its order has said that there is “sufficient prima facie evidence against Moitra on record that deserves deeper scrutiny. The directive came while deciding a complaint by BJP Lok Sabha Member Nishikant Dubey alleging that Moitra had asked questions in the Lok Sabha in exchange for cash and gifts from Dubai-based businessman Darshan Hiranandani.

It has directed the CBI to complete investigations in all aspects of the allegations against Moitra within six months and also file periodical reports every month regarding the status of the investigation. It added that after careful evaluation and consideration of the entire material on record, there remains no doubt regarding the fact that the allegations levelled against Moitra, most of which are supported by cogent evidence, are extremely serious in nature, especially in view of the position held by her. It said, therefore, in its considered opinion, a deeper probe is required to establish the truth. It added that this is vital in view of the position and status held by the Respondent Public Servant, RPS at the relevant point of time. It has referred to Moitra as the RPS in the order. Anti corruption ombudsman, Lokpal said, whatever be the position held, a public servant is bound to exercise probity in the discharge of his or her duties as public servant. The responsibility and burden are heavier on the shoulders of a public representative. Corruption is malaise that is adversely affecting the legislativ administrative, social and economic functioning of th democratic country.

Mahua Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha in December last year based on a recommendation by the Ethics Committee.

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