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HC dismisses Kalmadi's plea to attend Parliament

August 30, 2011 18:22 IST

The Delhi high court on Tuesday dismissed the plea of sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi, a Lok Sabha member of Parliament, seeking permission to attend the ongoing Parliament session.

"In view of the gravity of the offence and the allegation of huge magnitude, it would be totally inappropriate to grant him permission solely on the ground of freedom of speech inside the Parliament House, on the foundation that he has to meet the Constitutional obligation. The writ petition is dismissed," the bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, said.

The Congress Lok Sabha member from Pune had moved the division bench of the high court challenging the order of its single-judge bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, who had rejected his plea for the permission dubbing it as "an attempt to get fresh air outside the prison".

Kalmadi had filed the appeal contending that the single judge had wrongly equated the rights of an MP with those of common people despite the Constitution conferring some privileges on parliamentarians.

The 67-year-old MP is facing criminal proceedings for his alleged role in awarding a lucrative Commonwealth Games contract to a Swiss firm at inflated rates.

Kalmadi had sought the court's permission claiming that attending Parliament session is his duty towards his electorate and is linked to his right to freedom of speech and expression.

Appearing for Kalmadi, counsel Ashok Desai had on Monday told the bench that it is the constitutional duty of a Parliamentarian to attend the House and this duty is also linked to some privileges conferred upon him under Article 105 of the Constitution.

He had also submitted that Kalmadi being a representative of people with a long standing of over 28 years, it is his duty to represent his constituency in Parliament.

"I am not going to attend any ceremony but I have to do my constitutional duty," Desai said.

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