Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Monday said that Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge is “not the accused” in the money laundering case related to the National Herald newspaper.
— Congress (@INCIndia) August 8, 2022
On August 4, Congress MP Kharge objected to being summoned by the Enforcement Directorate “in the middle of the Parliament session”. He, however, said he wants to follow the law. Kharge was questioned for more than eight hours that same day.
A day later, Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu said that members of Parliament cannot be exempted from being arrested in criminal cases when a session of the House is underway.
Naidu also said that members of the Parliament enjoy certain privileges under Article 105 of the Constitution, but in criminal matters, they are “not on a different footing than a common citizen”.
On Monday, Ramesh issued a statement saying that the point of contention – when it comes to Kharge’s questioning – is not Parliamentary privileges.
“Here, it is to be noted that there is no dispute whatsoever on the well-established position that privileges are not available in criminal cases which were upheld by the Supreme Court…