Kalmadi can attend parliament if court allows: Speaker


New Delhi : Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar Friday said that jailed former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief and MP Suresh Kalmadi would be able to attend parliament only if a competent court allowed him to do so.

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Kalmadi, the speaker said, has written to her seeking permission to attend the monsoon session of parliament.

“The issue you are raising, I will refer to it. There is a legal process going on. It is for the competent court to decide (whether Kalmadi should be allowed to attend parliament proceedings),” Meira Kumar said when told that MPs facing trial on criminal charges have attended the house in the past.

The speaker skirted a reply when she was asked if courts had the power to stop an elected MP from attending the house.

“Parliament is supreme but when legal process is on against an honourable member that has to be kept in mind. Now, that a legal process has been initiated, we cannot ignore it,” she said.

Kalmadi was removed as Congress parliamentary party secretary and sacked as the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief before his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his alleged involvement in large-scale irregularities in the preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He was also suspended by the Congress.

He is in the Tihar Jail for the past two months.

If allowed, Kalmadi won’t be the first MP to attend parliament while in custody.

In the past, RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin and independent MP Pappu Yadav were convicted in separate cases for murder but were shifted from a Bihar jail to the Tihar Jail to attend the Lok Sabha after securing permission from the courts.

They also participated in the voting that followed the debate in the 2008 trust vote which the government had sought after the Left parties withdrew their support over the India-US nuclear deal. Pappu Yadav even spoke in the house during the debate.

The speaker, however, denied media reports that DMK leader and jailed former IT and communication minister A. Raja also had written a letter to her seeking similar permission.

The monsoon session of parliament begins Aug 1.