No rap for errant MPs
This is a discussion on No rap for errant MPs within the RTI News & Discussion forums, part of the RTI News, Circulars and Decisions category; As reported by Sowmya Aji at indiatoday.intoday.in on November 17, 2009 Our MPs owe the nation crores of rupees in unpaid telephone, electricity and water bills.Worse still, there is no ...
- 11-17-2009, 11:49 AM #1
No rap for errant MPs
As reported by Sowmya Aji at indiatoday.intoday.in on November 17, 2009
Our MPs owe the nation crores of rupees in unpaid telephone, electricity and water bills.Worse still, there is no law or provision to recover the dues once their terms end.
A partial assessment of the total figure owed by the MPs - both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha - submitted as part of a petition in the Delhi High Court puts just the outstanding telephone bills at a whopping Rs 8.18 crore. The arrears cover a period from 1979, the start of the seventh Lok Sabha to June, 2008.
"If the common man does not pay his bill, his telephone connection, water and power supplies are immediately disconnected. But MPs, who are supposed to set an example for all of us, are allowed to get away with huge outstanding bills. How is that allowed?" asked RTI activist Subhash Chandra Aggarwal.
The problem is in recovering dues once the MPs term finishes. The ministry of parliamentary affairs has admitted in a reply to Aggarwal's application that according to the Salary, Allowances and Pensions of Members of Parliament Act (1954), there is no provision to deduct the dues from the pensions of the MPs.
According to the Act, telephone dues and house rent can be recovered from a current MP's salary and travel and dearness allowances. But, once his tenure is over, there is no way the money can be recovered.
As the ministry of parliamentary affairs states: "There are no provisions in the Act to block payment of salaries of existing or pensions of former members of the Houses who have defaulted on dues." The list of 'offenders' includes former Andhra Pradesh chief minister K. Vijaybhaskar Reddy, former Karnataka CM R. Gundu Rao, former Haryana CM Bhajan Lal, Bihar leader Suraj Mandal and former Union ministers Raghuvansh Pratap Singh and C. P. Thakur.
The biggest offender, according to a reply provided by the Lok Sabha secretariat to Aggarwal, is former MP ABA Ghani Khan Choudhary, who owes the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) Rs 39 lakh and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Rs 40 lakh. In this case, the recovery was stopped after he expired.
There are others against whom recovery proceedings have been stopped only because they are no longer members of the Lok Sabha. Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda owes the NDMC Rs 3,64,237.
But, this money cannot be recovered from him. "Monthly recovery was being made until he ceased to be a member of Lok Sabha and was appointed the chief minister of Haryana," according to the department of parliamentary affairs. This means, after he became CM, he is not liable to pay his dues to the NMDC. The same is the case with Shibu Soren, who owes the NMDC Rs 6,63,924.
"Monthly recovery was made until he ceased to be a member of Lok Sabha and a Union minister," the department states.
The list of similar defaulters is long. The MTNL list goes back to 1979. The 10th Lok Sabha has the highest number of defaulters - 110 MPs, running up dues of Rs 2.86 crore. The just concluded 14th Lok Sabha has 91 MPs with outstanding bills totaling up to Rs 1.89 crore.
The amount due from Rajya Sabha MPs up to June, 2008 adds up to a more moderate Rs 28 lakh
Source: No rap for errant MPs: India Today - Latest Breaking News from India, World, Business, Cricket, Sports, Bollywood.
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Re: No rap for errant MPs
thank you for useful post.