More brickbats for Kejriwal from MPs

Last Updated: Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 18:41

New Delhi: In fresh confrontation with Team Anna, Union Minister Virbhadra Singh on Sunday said he intends to file a criminal defamation suit against Arvind Kejriwal while Congress MP Jagdambika Pal has slapped a privilege notice against the activist for allegedly insulting Parliament.

"I intend to file criminal defamation suit," the Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises said.

Virbhadra Singh figures in the list of 14 ministers against whom Team Anna has demanded registration of FIR and investigation into charges of corruption.

Singh had earlier written a letter to Kejriwal seeking unconditional apology fo the "baseless" charges.

A Team Anna member said Kejriwal has received a letter from Virbhadra Singh as well as a breach of privilege notice served on him by Pal.

Apart from Pal, privilege notices were earlier moved by Rajya Sabha members Ramkripal Yadav and Rajneeti Prasad (both RJD) and Lok Sabha MP Sajjan Kumar Verma (Congress) following Kejriwal`s March 25 speech at Jantar Mantar during which he raised the issue of 162 people with criminal cases being MPs.

Kejriwal had struck a defiant note in replying to the privilege notices asking how can he respect the House which has 162 MPs with criminal background.

Denying allegations by four MPs who moved privilege notices against him that he insulted the House, he had said he respects Parliament but noted that it is being insulted by those sitting inside Parliament and not those outside.

Kejriwal today stuck to his position and said he hadn`t said anything wrong.

"I will respond in a week`s time. I have not said anything wrong. There is no question of apology," he told.

In his letter to Kejriwal, V R Ramesh, Joint Secretary
in Lok Sabha Secretariat`s Privileges and Ethics branch has
asked the activist to reply to the privilege notice at the
earliest.

Pal in his letter to Speaker alleged that Kejriwal`s
remarks "demeaned the institution of Parliament, its custodian
and its members".

"It is shocking that they have not even spared senior of
stature and status like Sharad Yadav.

"He (Kejriwal) states that while the House did not take
note of the death of Narendra Kumar, IPS it devoted sufficient
time discussing on attack on Sharad Pawar.

"In fact, I had raised the matter of death of the officer
under Zero hour," Pal said.

"The absurdity, venom, character assassination of
Parliament and its members, casts reflection on them," Pal
said in his letter.

Pal said the "baseless" charges have been levelled by
Kejriwal against Union Ministers, MPs labelling them criminals
and "even questioning the proceedings" of the House was breach
of privilege.

Virbhadra Singh, the veteran Congress leader from
Himachal Pradesh, said that he has written a letter to
Kejriwal to tender unconditional apology for "maligning" his
name and if his reply is not found "satisfactory" he should be
prepared to face legal action.

"If good sense prevails on him (Kejriwal) he should tender
unconditional apology.... I am waiting for his reply to my
letter.... If the reply is not found satisfactory he
(Kejriwal) should be prepared to face legal action," Singh
said.

Asked for how long he would wait for Kejriwal`s response,
Singh said he would wait for "reasonable amount of time"
before initiating further action.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 15:59

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