New Delhi, Aug. 13: Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi has referred the Opposition-sponsored breach of privilege notices against law and justice minister Arun Jaitley to Rajya Sabha chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.
The notices were brought against Jaitley for allegedly suppressing facts and misleading the House regarding dilution of charges in the CBI’s Babri demolition chargesheet before the Rae Bareli court.
“As Shri Arun Jaitley is a member of the Rajya Sabha, I felt that it would be appropriate, if the matter is considered by Hon’ble Chairman, Rajya Sabha,” Joshi stated in the Lok Sabha this morning, as he gave his ruling on the notices submitted by Muslim League lea- der G.M. Banatwalla and Congress chief whip Priya Ranjan Das Munshi.
The Speaker said he refe- rred the matter to Shekhawat on August 1.
Jaitley earlier told the House that the chargesheet in the Rae Bareli special court had not “dropped” the criminal conspiracy charge against deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and the seven other BJP and VHP leaders accused in the demolition case.
Justifying his move, the Speaker quoted decisions by privilege committees of the two Houses five decades ago and parliamentary conventions evolved subsequently which required that the privilege proceedings against a member is taken up only in the House to which he belonged.
The Speaker's ruling virtually went unnoticed as slogan shouting members of Congress and Left parties were in the well of the House shouting slogans against the government. They were demanding that the CVC report on the defence purchases concerning the Kargil conflict should be made available to the Public Accounts Committee.
In the din, the Speaker also announced that Banatwalla's second privilege notice against Defence Minister George Fernandes over his refusal to furnish the CVC report to the PAC was under his consideration. He was seeking Fernandes' comment on the notice, Speaker said.