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CBI Initiates Probe into Cash-for-Query Allegations Against TMC MP Mahua Moitra

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched a preliminary enquiry (PE) into allegations of “cash-for-query” against Trinamool Congress (TMC) Member of Parliament (MP) Mahua Moitra. The investigation was initiated based on a reference by Lokpal, the anti-corruption authority responsible for addressing complaints against public servants.

The complaint, filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey, accused Moitra of accepting bribes to raise questions in the Lok Sabha with the alleged intention of targeting the Adani Group and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of businessman Darshan Hiranandani.

A CBI officer confirmed the initiation of the PE, clarifying that it is a preliminary step to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a regular case (First Information Report). During this phase, the agency can examine documents, summon individuals for questioning, but cannot conduct searches or make arrests.

Earlier this month, the Lok Sabha ethics committee recommended Moitra’s expulsion for sharing her login credentials and password with an unauthorized person, which was deemed unethical conduct and contempt of the House. The report also alleged that Moitra received money, gifts, and facilities from businessman Darshan Hiranandani, with whom she shared login details. The committee found that many of Moitra’s parliamentary questions were aimed at protecting Hiranandani’s business interests.

Moitra, in response to the allegations, stated on November 2 that there was insufficient evidence in the complaint against her. She accused lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai, her former friend, of filing a bogus complaint after their relationship ended.

The ethics committee’s report recommending Moitra’s expulsion will be presented on the first day of the winter session in the Lok Sabha. TMC chief Mamata Banerjee mentioned plans to expel Moitra, but any such action could potentially impact the lawmaker positively ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The controversy arose last month when Nishikant Dubey, based on a complaint by Dehradai, accused Moitra of accepting money and favors to ask questions in Parliament, a charge that Moitra vehemently denied.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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