Summoning MPs during session, a disrespect to Parliament: Cong on ED summonstext_fields
New Delhi: After the ED summoned opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharage with the monsoon session was in progress, the congress escalated the ante on Monday and claimed it was an insult to the revered institution of parliament.
The chief whip of the Congress, Jairam Ramesh said, "under the circumstances, in keeping with the sanctity of parliament and parliamentarians and its time-honoured conventions, it is high time that the presiding officers of both houses may deliberate and ensure that such gross affronts on the parliament and MPs do not recur."
Even though the house was in session, he said that LoP followed the summons and reported to the Young India office, where he was expected to be present for up to eight and a half hours.
"Notwithstanding this fact, in such matters, issuing of summons by ED or any law-enforcing agencies to any MP much less the leader of the opposition (LoP) when the parliament is in session, is an outright affront to the sacred institution of parliament and parliamentarians," he added, IANS reported.
Ramesh said the LoP is not an accused in any case but on August 3 summons were sent through an email by the Enforcement Directorate requiring his presence at the office of Young India Limited (YIL) in the national herald building. In response thereto, LoP sent an email to the concerned investigating officer of ED that as "parliament session is urgently underway and (he) being the leader of the opposition, have prior commitments in the ongoing session and accordingly.... our authorised representative is in Delhi and will appear before your good self at 10:30 am on 04/08/2022. I am happy to meet you on any day when parliament is not in session. I assure you of my fullest cooperation in your ongoing investigation."
Ramesh said this request was not acceded to by the Enforcement Directorate and was insisted upon that his presence was necessary at the national herald building at 12.30 hrs that day. "The LoP apprised the house about this development and stated that while abiding by the laws of the land, he would be going to the national herald building but pointed out that it was not appropriate on the part of the ED to "summon" him while the session is on," added Jairam Ramesh.
The Rajya Sabha chairman issued a comment on August 5 with the main point being that parliamentary privileges were not applicable in criminal proceedings.