Kerala

Speaker refers Breach of privilege notice against Thomas Isaac to Ethics Committee

T. M. Thomas Isaac  

Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan on Wednesday referred the breach of privilege notice moved by the Congress (I) legislator V.D. Satheesan against the Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac to the Privileges and Ethics Committee of Kerala Legislative Assembly for scrutiny.

It is the first time in the history of the Kerala Assembly that a breach of privilege notice against a Minister is being referred to the Privileges and Ethics Committee. The decision has come after Dr. Isaac appeared before the Speaker and gave his explanation sought by Mr. Sreeramakrishnan on the basis of the notice moved under Section 159 of the Kerala Legislative Assembly, Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business.

Mr. Satheesan had alleged that Dr. Isaac had infringed on the rights of the House by prematurely disclosing the details of an audit report of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) for 2018-19 by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). Speaking to media persons, the Speaker said the Privileges and Ethics Committee had also been asked to look into the fundamental issues raised by Dr. Isaac in his explanation, on the laying of the CAG report in the House and on the breach of privilege committed by the CAG.

“The Committee will look into the breach of privilege notice moved by Mr. Satheesan and the issues raised by Dr. Isaac in his reply given to the Speakar and take a call”, the Speaker said.

In his explanation to the Speaker on Monday, Dr. Isaac reportedly said he thought it was a draft report from the CAG and that he assumed that the CAG would seek the opinion of the government ahead of preparing the final report. However, it was only later that he realised that the report referred by him was the final CAG report.

Last month, the Privileges and Ethics Committee headed by A. Pradeep Kumar had sought an explanation from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the intervention made by it in the Life Mission project of the Left government. It was based on the notice for privilege motion moved by CPI(M) legislator James Mathew alleging that ED’s “legally questionable inquiry” into Life Mission had halted the mission-mode project to provide free housing for the poor.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 6:24:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/speaker-refers-breach-of-privilege-notice-against-thomas-isaac-to-ethics-committee/article33229282.ece

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