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LS Speaker sets up 9-member panel to probe Mann incident


Acting tough, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today said AAP MP Bhagwant Mann’s videography of the Parliament House complex had put its security “in peril” and asked him not to attend the House till a decision is taken on the matter while setting up a nine-member panel to probe the issue.

The panel, chaired by BJP member Kirit Somaiya, has been asked to submit its report by August 3, while Mann has time till tomorrow morning to submit his explanation to the committee.

“The act of the member of audio-visual recording of the Parliament and posting it on the social media puts the security of Parliament in peril,” the Speaker said, adding that several members had expressed concern over the issue on Friday last.

The member is “advised not to attend the sittings of the House” until a decision is taken in the matter, Mahajan said. Mann was not present in the House.

As soon as the House assembled, she informed it about the action being taken on the issue which had led to the adjournment of Lok Sabha proceedings on July 22.

“The inquiry committee shall inquire into the serious security implications and related aspects…. (and) suggest suitable remedial measures to avoid recurrence of such incidents in future and recommend appropriate action in the matter,” the Speaker said.

Last week, Mann had put out in the social media a video of his vehicle passing security barricades and entering the Parliament complex. He had also videographed a room where Parliament questions were being sorted.

Apart from chairperson Somaiya, the panel has two other BJP members — Meenakshi Lekhi and Satyapal Singh. Others are Anandrao Adsul (Shiv Sena), B Mahtab (BJD), Ratna De (TMC), Thota Narasimham (TDP), K C Venugopal (Cong) and P Venugopal (AIADMK).

The panel has no member from Shiromani Akali Dal. Mann represents Sangrur in Punjab.

“The committee is requested to examine the matter expeditiously and submit its report not later than August 3, 2016,” Mahajan said.

Mann has been asked to submit his “statement/explanation” regarding the matter by 10.30 AM tomorrow before the panel.”

The panel would look into the serious security implications and related aspects “germane to and arising out of the conduct of audio-visual recording around Parliament House by Mann on July 21, 2016 and subsequent uploading of the said audio-visual recording by him on social media”.

Besides, it would suggest suitable remedial measures to avoid recurrence of such incidents in future and recommend appropriate action in the matter, she said.
“The committee is authorised to follow its own procedure. The report of the committee will be presented to the House for its consideration,” the Speaker said.

Mahajan said Parliament, which is the sanctum sanctorum, was attacked in 2001 and 13 security men and parliamentary personnel had sacrified their lives.

“After the attack, the security arrangements for the Parliament were reviewed and the complete security apparatus, security systems and procedures have been completely overhauled to secure the Parliament,” she said.

In the light of the serious security implciations and consequences of the member’s action, Mahajan said she had given assurance that she would look into the matter.
“In view of the extreme gravity of the matter, I have discussed it with the leaders of political parties in Lok Sabha and all of them have unanimously agreed to the course of action I propose to take,” the Speaker said as he announced the setting up of the inquiry panel.

On July 22, several members raised the matter alleging serious breach of security of the Parliament House by the improper conduct of Mann who had videographed and posted critical footage of the complex on a social media, the Speaker added.


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