Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Mar 19:
In a significant ruling, the Odisha High Court today allowed suspended BJD MP from Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha seat Ramchandra Hansda, currently lodged in the Jharpada jail in Bhubaneswar as a co-accused in the chit fund scam, to attend Parliament for a day while remaining in the custody of CBI by March 23.
As per the terms laid down in the order, jail authorities will hand over Hansda to the CBI, which will take him to Delhi. The CBI in turn will hand him over to the Security Officer of Lok Sabha.
After he attends the Parlaiment, the Security Officer will hand over Hansda back to the custody of the CBI and the central investigating agency is required to again produce him at the designated CBI court in Bhubaneswar by March 23 as per the court order.
Hansda had petitioned the High Court that he be granted permission to attend Parliament to retain his membership as the law provides for declaring a seat as vacant if the member fails to attend its sitting for 60 days at a stretch.
Hansda’s advocate had pleaded during the hearing on the matter that his client was prepared to attend Parliament in custody of police or any other agency as suggested by the court and had cited several earlier cases of courts allowing MPs and MLAs to attend Parliament and Assemblies in similar circumstances.
Hansda’s lawyer had contended that since the charge sheet had already been submitted by the CBI in the case and there is little possibility of him being granted bail, he should be allowed to attend Parliament under whatever terms and conditions the court may impose to retain his membership, which would lapse otherwise.