Adhir’s suspension revoked after House panel weighs in | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Adhir’s suspension revoked after House panel weighs in

By, New Delhi
Aug 30, 2023 11:50 PM IST

Congress’s Lok Sabha floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s suspension from the House was revoked on Wednesday.

Congress’s Lok Sabha floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s suspension from the House was revoked on Wednesday, hours after the privileges committee, headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Sunil Singh, recommended his reinstatement to Speaker Om Birla.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. (ANI)
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. (ANI)

The Lok Sabha secretariat issued a circular after Birla approved the committee report, officials said.

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On August 19, the day the privileges committee met to start its proceedings against Chowdhury, HT reported that the Congress MP was likely be reinstated after the next meeting. The decision recommending the revocation of Chowdhury’s suspension was “unanimous”, said a functionary.

Chowdhury was barred from the Lok Sabha on August 10, pending a probe by the privileges committee of the Lower House of Parliament, for alleged “gross and deliberate misconduct”.

The Congress lawmaker appeared before the panel on Wednesday. “Chowdhury emphatically said that he had no intention to hurt anyone’s feelings. He also admitted that Hindi is not his mother tongue and sometimes, a miscommunication arises from his usage of some words. Chowdhury also added that the Speaker has full authority to expunge any word he finds as unparliamentary,” said a person familiar with the proceedings.

Last week, on the sidelines of the India chapter meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Birla underlined that as long as a matter is before the privileges committee, the Chair has no power to look into it.

The Congress floor leader is also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee -- Parliament’s audit watchdog. During Chowdhury’s suspension, no meeting of the panel was scheduled.

“The privileges panel goes strictly by the convention and rules of Parliament. As privileges charges have been moved against Chowdhury, he will be asked to depose before the privileges committee. He must get an opportunity to present his side to the panel,” an official had said after the August 18 meeting.

Chowdhury, a five-term MP, was suspended from the Lok Sabha on August 10 and a privilege motion was initiated against him for his “gross, deliberate and repeated misconduct”, hours after he tried to compare Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Dhritarashtra and suggest that the PM is “Nirav” (Bengali for silent) on Manipur. His remarks were later expunged from the proceedings.

According to parliamentary experts, Chowdhury became the first floor leader of the largest Opposition party to be suspended from the House.

After the lengthy debate on the no-confidence motion ended on August 10, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi moved a resolution that said, “This House, having taken note of the gross, deliberate and repeated misconduct of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in utter disregard of the House and authority of the chair, resolves that the matter of misconduct be further referred to the committee of privileges for further investigation and Chowdhury be suspended from service of the House till the committee submits its report.”

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also took note of the day’s developments and observed that Chowdhury’s behaviour during the debate was not appropriate.

Two days after his suspension, Chowdhury addressed a press conference and claimed that he was “hanged” and then asked to face trial. He also said that the “simple formula” could have been to expunge his words but that, instead, he was suspended from the House.

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