Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 17:
The Ethics Committee of the Odisha Assembly will soon begin its probe into the allegation pertaining to watching of objectionable video inside the House by Congress lawmaker from Jharsuguda Naba Kishore Das.
The 28 member Ethics Committee has 23 members from the BJD, four from the Congress and one from the BJP. The Committee will very soon summon Das for questioning on the issue.
The video clip of the incident broadcast on different television channels will be examined, informed Committee members.
That apart, CCTV footage, statements of those MLAs sitting near Das in the House at the time of the incident will be recorded, allegations against him and his statements in the media will be also examined, they added.
Moreover, the Jharsuguda MLA will be given a chance to speak out his side, the members said.
“The allegation will be examined. Clarification will be sought from against whom the allegation has been made. The person who has recorded the clip can also be summoned,” said Sashi Bhushan Behera, BJD MLA and member of the Ethics Committee.
“The matter will be discussed in the presence of the Committee members. Notice will be served and after the probe is over the findings will find place in the report,” said Ananta Das BJD chief whip and member Ethics Committee.
The Congress has said that it will cooperate in the probe. However, the grand old party has expressed its resentment over the way in which Jharsuguda MLA was suspended even before the probe.
The party has demanded inclusion of MLAs in the probe against whom there are reports in the media of using mobile phones inside the House.
“It would have been fair had he been penalized on the Ethics Committee finding him guilty in its report. It was not only Naba Das who was browsing the mobile phone; there were several others who too were browsing their mobile phones. The matter should be probed for the truth to come out,” said Prakash Behera Congress member of the Ethics Committee.
On the other hand, the Assembly was prorogued a day after Naba Kishore Das was suspended for seven days by the Speaker. All eyes are now on whether Das’s suspension from the House will continue for another five days in the next session.
Former Speaker Sarat Kar has however, commented that the Speaker has every right to decide on the matter.
“The Speaker will take a call on the issue. He is to see whether the dignity of the House has been impinged upon by the act of watching. The Speaker can either confirm the seven days suspension, reduce it or can even increase it,” said Kar in his comments on the matter.
According to Assembly secretariat, the proceedings of the Parliament in similar situations will be examined before taking a decision in the matter.