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Speaker’s pathetic excuse

Ranchi, Sept. 3: Assembly Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta today said that granting permission to Ranchi police to question minority affairs minister Haji Hussain Ansari of the JMM and tourism minister Suresh Paswan of the RJD in the Tara Shahdeo case was beyond his jurisdiction.

If that was Bhokta’s way of steering clear of the headline-grabbing controversy surrounding the national shooting champion’s alleged conversion, it ended up exposing his poor grasp of legal matters.

The truth is that any law enforcing agency can summon/interrogate a minister without seeking anyone’s permission or concurrence. A minister has no immunity except in case of arrest when, as per protocol, information on it has to be reported to the Speaker by the investigating officer of the case.

Jharkhand High Court lawyer Amit Kumar agreed.

But Bhokta (JMM) insisted he had no “control” over the ministers, one of whom is a party colleague, as they had been appointed by the Governor.

However, Ranchi police seem to be treading cautiously. City SP Anoop Birtharay said they had sent a letter to the secretary of the Assembly.