New Delhi, Jan 3 : In a big setback for Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to pass any interim relief in her plea filed against her expulsion from the Lok Sabha following the 'cash-for-query' controversy.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta sought a reply from the Lok Sabha Secretariat and directed to list Moitra’s plea in the week commencing March 11.
The bench told senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared on Moitra’s behalf, that it will consider the application for interim relief in March.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Secretary General of the Lower House of the Parliament, urged the apex court to not issue a formal notice, saying the issue of disciplinary proceedings against an MP is not amenable to judicial review as the Parliament holds its own sovereignty in such cases.
Mehta argued that Moitra’s plea is not maintainable and any interference by the judiciary into the functioning of the legislature will offend the separation of power provided under the Constitution.
After hearing the arguments, the bench decided not to issue any notice to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and the Ethics Committee of the Lower House, which were arrayed as respondent party in Moitra’s plea, and sought a reply from the Lok Sabha Secretariat only.
Moitra had moved the court under Article 32 of the Constitution, challenging her expulsion from the Lok Sabha on December 8.
In her plea, the MP from West Bengal’s Krishnanagar Parliamentary constituency has termed the decision of her expulsion as "unfair, unjust and arbitrary".
The action against her was taken following the Ethics Committee's probe into charges that she took money from her businessman 'friend' to raise questions on the floor of the House. (IANS)