Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday granted a two-week extension to the Lok Sabha committee probing Bhagwant Mann’s actions.
The nine-member committee, set up on July 25, was slated to submit its report Wednesday.
Mann, Aam Adami Party member from Sangrur, had triggered a controversy by live-streaming the security arrangements at the Parliament House complex on social media. He had also videographed the process of draw of lots for selecting members’ questions for listing.
Mahajan advised Mann not to come to the House until the committee’s term ends. This effectively means Mann will have have to stay away till the end of the current monsoon session, which is scheduled to conclude on August 12. “As earlier observed by me, in view of seriousness of the matter, Bhagwant Mann, MP is further advised not to attend the sittings of the House until a decision is taken in the matter,” Mahajan said in the Lok Sabha. The Speaker had advised Mann on July 25 also not to attend the House till a decision was taken regarding his conduct.
Mann said he should have been allowed to attend the House in the interim. “They can throw me out but at least they should make the decision fast,” PTI quoted Mann as saying. “Now they have taken two more weeks… Let the panel probe the matter but I should be allowed to attend the House till then. I am not held guilty yet. They want to suppress my voice. With the grant of two more weeks to the panel, I am virtually out of Parliament session which will go on till August 12. I wanted to raise the issue of poor, the Dalits, the unemployed. Now I will not be able to raise these issues.”
Mahajan informed the Lok Sabha that she had acceded to a request from panel chairman Kirit Somaiya to give more time to the committee. She said Somaiya had submitted that in view of the gravity of the matter, the unanimous view among members was that for doing justice to its mandate, the panel required some more time. He also pointed out that some more witnesses needed being examined and some critical issues had to be probed in depth.