India

ED summons to Kharge an affront to Parliament, says Congress

Jairam Ramesh contests Venkaiah Naidu’s ‘no immunity from arrests for MPs when House is in progress’ remarks. File

Jairam Ramesh contests Venkaiah Naidu’s ‘no immunity from arrests for MPs when House is in progress’ remarks. File | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons to Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge is an “outright affront” to Parliament, said the Congress on Monday and added that MPs and Presiding Officers of both the Houses should ensure that it does not recur.

In a statement, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh alleged that the ED summons to Mr. Kharge, in connection with the National Herald case, during a Parliament session was done with the sole purpose of harassing the LoP and the Congress.

According to Mr. Ramesh, the LoP received an email from the ED to appear before them, to which Mr. Kharge responded by saying that since Parliament was in session, he will send an authorised person for the agency to carry out searches at the office of Young Indian that owned National Herald.

“This request was not acceded to by the Enforcement Directorate and was insisted upon that his presence was necessary at the National Herald building at 12:30 hrs that day,” Mr. Ramesh said.

Referring to an observaton made by Chairman of Rajya Sabha on August 5, 2022 that Parliamentary privileges are not available in criminal cases, Mr. Ramesh pointed out that Mr. Kharge was not an accused in the National Herald case.

“Notwithstanding this fact, issuing of summons by ED or any law-enforcing agencies to any MP, much less the Leader of Opposition when Parliament is in session, is an outright affront to the sacred institution of Parliament and Parliamentarians,” he said.

“Under the circumstances, in keeping with the sanctity of Parliament and Parliamentarians and its time-honoured conventions, it is high time that the presiding officers of both Houses may deliberate and ensure that such gross affronts on Parliament and MPs does not recur,” he added.


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Printable version | Sep 13, 2022 3:27:03 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/summons-mallikarjuna-kharge-jairam-ramesh-venkaiah-naidu-no-immunity-from-arrest-mp-house-in-progress/article65744663.ece