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Updated: September 7, 2011 21:51 IST

Prashant Bhushan, Kiran Bedi, Kejriwal receive privilege notices

Gargi Parsai
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Team Anna members (from left) Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan at a press conference on the issue of Income Tax Department notice on Mr. Kejriwal, in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty
The Hindu
Team Anna members (from left) Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan at a press conference on the issue of Income Tax Department notice on Mr. Kejriwal, in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

They allegedly made remarks against Parliamentarians

Key members of Anna Hazare's core team — Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi — have received breach of privilege notices from the Rajya Sabha for their alleged remarks against Parliamentarians during their anti-corruption campaign on the Ramlila grounds here last month.

Mr. Kejriwal, an officer of the Indian Revenue Service, Mr. Bhushan, a Supreme Court lawyer, and Ms. Bedi, a former IPS officer, received the notices for “breach of privilege/contempt of the House.”

They were accused of using derogatory words against MPs during the agitation. All have been asked to reply by September 14, after which Chairman Hamid Ansari will take a view on admitting or rejecting the notices.

Mr. Kejriwal received the notice on Saturday, while Mr. Bhushan and Ms. Bedi got it on Friday. The notice to Mr. Kejriwal comes on the heels of another notice to him from the I-T Department for payment of dues to the tune of Rs. 9.27 lakh for allegedly violating conditions in a bond for a study-leave and computer loan.

The notice against Mr. Bhushan is on a complaint by Mohammed Adeeb, an Independent member, while in the case of Ms. Bedi, it is based on complaints submitted by Mr. Adeeb as well as Jesudasu Seelam, Congress member in the Rajya Sabha.


Charging the three campaigners with launching a tirade against MPs, Mr. Adeeb alleged that they went “to the extent of saying that members of Parliament take money for passing Bills in Parliament.”

Terming the notice “totally misconceived,” Mr. Bhushan told The Hindu that he would respond to it.

“If speaking truth in public interest amounts to breach of privilege, then time has come for the country to review the whole notion of Parliamentary privileges,” he said.

“Received the breach of privilege notice. Shall respond appropriately recording the distrust ‘we the people' were suffering,'' Ms. Bedi tweeted after receiving the notice.

‘A bigger mirror’

“Sorry, I will not be able to say sorry,” she had said at a press conference here on Friday.

Referring to the shoe-hurling scenes in the Rajasthan Assembly last Monday, she said that if she had to appear before the privileges committee, she will “show a bigger mirror to our Parliamentarians.''

On Friday, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare lashed out in Ralegaon Siddhi against the government for “targeting” members of the campaign.

Mr. Hazare had undertaken a 12-day fast here last month to press for a strong and effective anti-corruption law.

Thousands of people participated in the movement that concluded with Parliament accepting ‘in principle' the three key elements of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

These were — inclusion of lower bureaucracy, adoption of citizens's charter for time-bound delivery of services in government departments and formation of Lokayuktas in States.

Team Anna will present its case to the Standing Committee at the end of this month.

Meanwhile, the core members will meet under Mr. Hazare's leadership at Ralegaon Siddhi on September 10 and 11 to chalk out future plans.

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It is to be noted that the privilege notice against Kiran Bedi is for her accusation of parliamentarians wearing "several masks" at the same time. On many occasions both Ruling and Opposition benches in Parliament had accused many of their counterparts including P.M or Opposition stalwarts wearing a mask. Probably majority of our politicians wear masks otherwise they would not have got even the poll ticket to contest in an election or got elected through backdoor through nominations to Rajya Sabha! There is no meaning in clamping a privilege motion on Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi. Beware that Kiran is all set to show a ‘bigger mirror’ while appearing for the hearing. It is desirable not to catch a tiger (tigress) on its tail!

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri
Posted on: Sep 7, 2011 at 08:16 IST

Shanti Bhushan, the legal mind of Team Anna, is confronted by the Delhi Police, claiming that the CDs allegedly showing a deal between the Bhushans and Amar Singh over a land deal was genuine. Kiran Bedi is facing a privilege motion against her in Parliament. It is very noteworthy that all this has happened immediately after the latest resolution in the parliament.

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri
Posted on: Sep 7, 2011 at 08:15 IST

Kejriwal had commented that no correspondence were there during the past four years. The Income Tax Department had given a notice on August 05, 2011 prior to Anna's commencement of fast beginning on August 16, 2011. He said “it seems I-T Department's political bosses ordered them to send me this notice. Government officers have been trying to dig up dirt on me for the past 10 years” He had taken the study leave from November 1, 2000 to October 31, 2002 and had reported for duty on November 01, 2002. The resignation was only in February 2006. During the period between 2004 and 2006 he was on Unpaid-Leave while as per his bond he did not resign in three years that followed his study leave. It is evident that I T depart is deliberately smudging him after a period of seven years.

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri
Posted on: Sep 7, 2011 at 08:09 IST

Privilege notice to Bhushan and Bedi of team Anna is a farce and another nail provided by MPs themselves to the public at large to seal their fates as they continue to live in fool's paradise without looking at writings on the wall. I wish they continue to live by their ego and thoughts that they are power unto themselves and public is only subservient to them. Their ego will serve them right and will be a blessing in disguise for this new Indian movement as they are responsible for bringing India at the epitome of kleptocracy.

from:  Keshav Garg
Posted on: Sep 5, 2011 at 11:15 IST

Revenge is not good sign for healthy democracy. There should be space for dissent discussion and debate. Such thing only detiorate the credibility of the parliamentarian which is also on verge of decline.UPA and all others parties can show liberal attitude and can win the people's mind if such attitude of revenge continue it will face the peolple's ire.

from:  Atul Warhekar
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 15:54 IST

Well written article. From all It'S fantastic speeches one can be sure Parliament is intelligent enough to know RESPECT IS TO BE EARNED AND NOT SHOVED DOWN PEOPLE'S THROATS. Acquiring respect through intimidation will do little to heal bruised EGOs. To set impediments before the very people who can help Parliament in the process of rooting out corruption proves an underlying lack of Political Will. So many retired generals have come out strongly on public TV against this unbridled corruption. Now when it comes to dealing with some of it's rotting branches it hides under the umbrella of unconstitutionality. With the tri-command of Army, Navy and Air Force under it's command one can't but help wonder WHY ALL THE WHIMPERING?

from:  Angela Alvares
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 13:25 IST

Clearly there is much uneasiness in the powers that be after watching the huge public support the civil society got in their fight against corruption. An agitated mind is not conducive to rational thinking. The present behaviour of the Congress party, its supporters and the government it leads is in tune with this truism.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 09:22 IST

In any civilized democracies, the elected reps of people are answerable to their conduct and behavior, in and out of congress or parliament or whatever that debating forum, and also sometime even about their private life affecting nation's integrity and credibility. People incl tax payers have privileges to monitor the functions of the rulers and question them, incl recall when the guy becomes dangerously ineffective non-performer. However, in the democratic Bharat, it seems totally opposite; the elected guys could do all kinds of nonsense and go free and even take offence when questioned of their own offending acts of omission and commission.
Are we really democracy; or just built a stupid system run by the idiots at the expense of tax payers money and allow the guys to boot and loot unfettered?

from:  V.Muthuswami
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 09:01 IST

No surprises at all! To all elderly citizens that have worked for GOI upto their retirement and observed the functioning of arrogant 'Bureaucracy' it is a small wonder that many more have not come forward to report the news of their (like Kumar Vishwas) similar or worse backhanded compliment! It is elementary, as Sherlok Homes would say; how can the entire government machinery yield to the advice- no matter howsoever sound - to turn honest and sincerely serve the nation keeping own interests aside! For sixty four years and more a system has evolved which is generous to both classes of rulers, political bosses and bureaucratic administrators! One wishes, in vain, had Lal Bahadur Shastri lived to show an honest political leader's way to serve the nation sincerely! Even if Morarjee Desai had led a congress government after Lal Bahadur Shastri we may have had a better environment in the country. God bless Our motherland!

from:  Sudhir Chaitanya
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 09:00 IST

There is no limit to the vindictiveness of the Congress Party. Almost all members of the Anna Team have been slapped with some legal action. With the induction of the aggressive spokespersons of the Congress Party, Manish Tiwari and Abishek Manu Singhvi, into the Standing Committee,everyone knows what the outcome would be for the Bill. With every trick in their armor, the country would be duped, to protect those who have their monies stashed in foreign banks.

from:  G.Naryanaswamy
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 08:15 IST

it is sad to know that our political representatives using their precious time in taking revenge rather to lead the nation towards DREAM INDIA PROJECT(prosparity, equity,mature democracy).Please do something towards beterment of common man.

from:  Mantu Singh Man
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 07:36 IST

sad and hurts when you notice that the anna team who is selflessly committed for a good cause is being strategically dealt with like this with a sole aim to humiliate, harass,and disturb by the govt . till date i used to be very appreciative of eco reforms of congress , not any more such party does not deserve to be at the centre. I wish Rahul Gandhi could practice he has been preaching.

from:  Azza
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 07:29 IST

The government wants to suppress the organisors and supporters of the anti-corruption movement. The government must read between the lines that the movements enjoys people support in large numbers and the movement will not die down beacause of such cheap activities of the government

from:  Sravana Ramachandran.
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 07:12 IST

It is lamentable that the Government is continuing to play dirty politics by providing Z-category security for Sri. Anna and, simultaneously, threatening the other three team members and Baba Ramdev, for participating in anti-corruption campaign. It appears to be a shrewd tactics to cleaver the activities of the related persons and concurrently make it appear that the Government is serious about the issues. Good departure from the subject!!!

from:  Dr. K.V.Mallan
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 06:55 IST

Does these politicians care about privilege of a common man? Using British Raj tactics to scare people speaking against them. Have MPs not being involved in cash-for-vote scams? Have they not taken money to ask questions? Did JMM not take bribe to vote in favour of particular party? Well how many MPs are honest, how people will know until or unless there is an independent body to looks and investigates.

from:  Mohana
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 06:26 IST

It is not the slippery slope India Goverment needs to be traveling! Muzzling the opposition by persecuting the messengers had been used by many tyrants of the past and present. When such an action is contemplated by the Goverment in office, they are going against the spirit of democracy and freedom of expression is sacrosanct in that system! People of a democratic nation are citizens of the country and not subjects to rever the rulers!

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 04:51 IST

Who is calling who black? The conduct of a number of the elected representatives inside the Parliament is shameful to say the least. Shouting and walking out is a common feature. A whole session was a wash out, political parties throwing mud at each other on 2G. It is taxpayers money which is being spent running the institution.If any action is taken on the breach of privileges notice, then the government is in for another round of public upheaval

from:  Pushpavanam.R
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 04:47 IST

The last thing that politicians should do at this time is to upset the people of India. Any attempts like this will seem like "We are the reason you are in parliament. Now you are turning around and trying to curtail my independence?". Apathy will now convert to motivation and it will show during the next election. This is the beginning of the end of congress in India. If the BJP plays their cards right (and dumps religious biases), they can carry the future.

from:  Pradeep
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 02:48 IST

Privilege Motion against Om Puri, Kiran Bedi . Kejeriwal and Preshant Bhushan and Income tax Arrears against Kejeriwal? It was a victory for all that Anna Hazare’s fast had come to a happy ending. It was a victory for all, Anna Hazare and team, GOI, Opposition, Protesters all over India including Ramlila Maidan, Police and Media for arriving at a consensus. It was a give and take. At this juncture we cannot afford to dig out the wrongs of anyone to be punished.It is too silly to see that the Income Tax Officers are digging out tax arrears against Kejeriwal. This cannot be done unless the political bosses are after the income tax officers. Please stop this. The more you do this kind of dirty tricks, the more exposed you people become. It is important that each one looks at one’s own performance with self criticism.
What is important now is how can we work out a strong Lok Pal. How can we bring about a consensus on a strong Lok Pal. Jan Lok Pal, Lokpal of GOI, intervention of Aruna Roy.

from:  Thomas Kocherry
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 02:36 IST

The two cardinal gifts of our Constitution are liberty and the vote through which we govern ourselves. If the elected, Government and Parliament become too strong and undermine liberty, it leads to tyranny. If people’s liberty undermines Parliament, it leads to anarchy. It is a challenge for leaders and people to traverse a middle path, integrating liberty with constitutionalism. This privilege >motion leads to conflict of liberty and anarchy again and leads to nowhere.Politicians, please be sensible and save indians from getting ridiculed across the globe. Dont act like shameless creatures.

from:  Santosh
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 02:18 IST

We know all the elected members' names. So let them send notices to all of us. Is it possible. We have seen how they behave in the parliament. Rude and rowdy like. First the notices should be sent to them.

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 at 01:16 IST
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