Ex-TMC MLA in dock for breach of House privilege

Arunava Ghosh to appear before House Bar today for punishment

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: August 27, 2013 2:40 am

The state Assembly Monday summoned Congress leader Arunava Ghosh to appear before the Bar of the House on Tuesday and explain why action should not be be taken against him for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Speaker Biman Banerjee on a news channel.

Arunava Ghosh,who remained a Trinamool Congress MLA in the state assembly from 2001 to 2006 before quitting the party,had allegedly made the remarks during a panel discussion on Bangla news channel 24 Ghanta on July 9 last year.

The summons were issued to Ghosh after the House passed a resolution placed by government chief whip Shovon Dev Chattopadhyay,stating that the leader had committed a serious breach of privilege of the House and that he be called for receiving punishment.

“On Tuesday,the House will also decide the quantum of punishment — maximum being imprisonment for seven days.

“However,the order can be challenged in court,” said Hasim Abdul Halim,a former Speaker of the Assembly.

As per the sources,the government chief whip,taking umbrage at the comments made by Ghosh on the channel,sent notices to the privilege committee of the House to consider whether the former TMC MLA and the editor and programme co-ordinator of the news channel be put in the dock for their alleged “misdemeanour”.

The Speaker,who summoned Ghosh to appear in the Assembly at 2.30 pm Tuesday,meanwhile,said that a report of the Committee of Privileges headed by Deputy Speaker Sonali Guha had recommended cautioning the editor-input and programme co-ordinator of the channel and summoning Ghosh to the Bar for committing serious multiple breach of privilege and contempt of the House.

“It was unbecoming of Ghosh,who had been a member of the House for five years,to make such disparaging remarks about the Chair,” Guha later said outside the state

Assembly.

However,Ghosh was unrepentant. “I have great respect for the Assembly and the Institution of the Speaker. But I believe what I did or said was absolutely right. I am ready to accept any punishment,’’ Ghosh,who is also a lawyer at Calcutta High Court,said.

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