Mahua Moitra Expulsion: Analysing the Legal Dimensions and Controversies Surrounding the Removal of the Lok Sabha MP – Insights into the Case and Potential Judicial Implications


Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra lost membership of the House on December 8 on the basis of a report from the parliamentary ethics committee, which held her conduct to be ‘unethical’ and in ‘contempt of the House’. The panel had recommended her expulsion on the grounds of receiving bribery.  

Sharing login Credential’s

On 8th of December the Trinamool congress member was expelled from the Lok Sabha in the cash for query allegations. The Trinamool MP was accused of receiving bribe which included expensive branded bags, holidays to travel within India and abroad as well and even included renovation of her apartments from the renowned industrialist Darshan Hira Nandani in return for which she gave away her login credentials meant for MPs to access web portals used by Parliamentarian’s.  

Ethics Committee Proceeding

The Constitution of India grants immunity to MPs from any civil or criminal liability for anything said or any vote cast in Parliament or its committees (Article 105). However, this immunity does not extend to parliamentary privileges, which are the special rights and immunities enjoyed by each House of Parliament and its members. These privileges are necessary to enable the Houses to effectively discharge their functions Article 105(3).

legal option for  mahua Moitra

Moitra still has the option of challenging the Lok Sabha expulsion in the Supreme Court of India through article 112 of the Indian constitution which provides immunity to the proceedings from a challenge from the court. According to Article 122, “the validity of any proceedings in Parliament shall not be called (into) question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure. No officer or MP in whom powers are vested by or under this constitution for regulating procedure or the conduct of business, or for maintaining order, in Parliament shall be subject to the jurisdiction of any court in respect of the exercise by him of those powers. Additionally, she may, on the grounds of natural justice and fair hearing principles, appeal the committee’s ruling to the Supreme Court or the high court. 

She could also challenge the jurisdiction and conduct of the ethics committee while arguing that it overstepped its mandate and the proceedings were “irregular”. The TMC MP who was expelled may also make claims of bias, prejudice, or any other type of misconduct in the committee’s operations to senior government or Parliament officials via her party or other independent channels.

Judicial Implication

The privileges include freedom of speech, freedom from arrest, right to exclude strangers, right to publish debates and proceedings, and right to punish members or outsiders for breach of privilege or contempt of the House. The Supreme Court has held that the privileges of Parliament are not absolute and are subject to judicial review. In the 2007 Raja Ram Pal case, the court ruled that the expulsion of 11 MPs by the Lok Sabha for their involvement in a cash-for-query scam was valid, but also clarified that judicial review is possible in cases of substantive or gross illegality, unconstitutionality, or violation of natural justice. Therefore, Moitra can challenge the Ethics Committee’s report and recommendation in the Supreme Court if she feels that they are illegal, unconstitutional, or unfair. She can argue that the committee violated the rules of procedure, natural justice, and parliamentary etiquette, and that its recommendation of expulsion is beyond its jurisdiction and disproportionate to the alleged offence. She can also invoke her right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, which is subject to reasonable restrictions in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence Article 19(2)


 while the Constitution of India grants immunity to Members of Parliament (MPs) from civil or criminal liability for their statements or votes in Parliament under Article 105, this immunity does not extend to parliamentary privileges. Ultimately, the conclusion emphasizes the delicate balance between parliamentary privileges and judicial review, highlighting the Supreme Court’s role in ensuring that the exercise of these privileges remains within the bounds of legality, constitutionality, and fairness. The case of Raja Ram Pal in 2007 serves as a precedent, affirming the possibility of judicial review in cases involving substantive or gross illegality, unconstitutionality, or violation of natural justice, while also recognizing the importance of parliamentary autonomy in its disciplinary functions.

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