February 22, 2024

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Cong gives adjournment motion in LS to discuss ex-Indian Navy men in Qatar, ED’s corruption

New Delhi : Congress MPs Manish Tewari and Manickam Tagore on Monday gave adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha to discuss the issue of retired Indian Navy officials convicted in Qatar and the alleged corruption by ED following the arrest of another agency official from Tamil Nadu.

In his notice in the Lok Sabha, Tewari said, “That this House do suspend Zero Hour, Question Hour, and other Businesses of the Day to have a discussion regarding the retired-Indian navy personnel imprisoned in Qatar. Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala. Commander Sanjeev Gupta, and Sailor Ragesh, were sentenced by the Qatari court on October 26, 2023.

“I have been constantly raising this matter since August 2022 both inside and outside the House but the response of the Government has been no response for 14 months,” he said.

The Congress leader said that the eight Naval Personnel (Retired) have ostensibly been brutally tortured, self incriminating confessions extracted and sentenced to death in a Kangaroo Trail in a couple of perfunctory hearings.

“The Government has not even called in the Qatari Ambassador to protest the matter strongly. There is no visible protest by the Indian government. Despite the purported acceptance of their appeal, crucial details such as charges, court rationale, and the judgment of the copy of the Court of First Instance remain undisclosed,” he said.

“I therefore urge the government to inform the House of the situation about our Navy personnel in Qatar and the steps taken to bring them back to India,” Tewari said.

Meanwhile, Tagore in his notice demanded for a discussion about the alleged corruption by the ED.

In his notice, Tagore said, “To discuss the corruption of ED officers of Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan and express the condemnation of this august House against the government directing it to take appropriate action against the corrupted ED officers.”

He said that in Tamil Nadu, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption recently apprehended an ED officer for accepting a bribe of Rs 20 lakh from a doctor.

“Disturbingly, reports indicate that the ED team in Tamil Nadu has been intimidating multiple individuals, extorting bribes under the guise of settling cases within the ED. This reprehensible behaviour not only compromises the integrity of the ED but also undermines the trust citizens place in our government institutions,” he said.

“Similarly, in Rajasthan, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested another ED officer and his associate in Manipur for accepting a bribe of Rs 15 lakh to settle a matter related to a chit fund case, he said, adding that these incidents cast a dark shadow on the professionalism and credibility of the ED and raise serious questions about the effectiveness of the mechanisms in place to prevent corruption within our government agencies

“In light of these revelations, I propose that this House sets aside other routine business to discuss this matter urgently. It is imperative that we express our collective condemnation of these corrupt practices and call upon the Central government to take immediate and decisive action against the implicated ED officers in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, Tagore demanded.”

The Winter Session is beginning on Monday and will conclude on December 22.

The session is likely to be stormy as the opposition plans to raise several issues inside both the Houses.

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