Panel formed to probe breach of privilege by SSP

A three-member committee was formed on Wednesday to inquire into an alleged breach of privilege of Legislative Council Chairman Ganesh Shankar Pandey by Gorakhpur Senior Superintendent of Police, who inviting him as a guest at the Republic Day function where a minister of state unfurled the national flag.

The presiding officer Naresh Uttam formed the committee, headed by Om Prakash Sharma of the teachers group, and asked it to submit its report by March 6. Raising the matter, Sharma said that the chairman belongs to Gorakhpur and he was present in the district on January 26, but the SSP invited a minister belonging to Amebdkar Nagar for flag hoisting. Also, the SSP sent a letter to Pandey, inviting him to attend the ceremony as a guest.

Sharma said that the chairman's was a constitutional post. By inviting a minister of state in preference to the chairman who belongs to same district the SSP has breached the privilege of the House and its members. Sharma said that the SSP should be summoned to the House and punished.

He recalled that a similar incident had taken place with former chairman Chaudhary Shukhram Singh Yadav in Kanpur a few years ago. Leaders of all parties supported Sharma and requested the chairman to summon the SSP. Leader of Opposition Naseemuddin Siddiqui said that strict action should be taken against the officer. "When the privilege of our patron is not safe, how could the privilege of other members be safe," Siddiqui said.

Leader of the House Ahmed Hasan said that the government should be given an opportunity to conduct an inquiry. He assured that the government would take strict action in the matter and not protect any officer.

Chairman Ganesh Shankar Pandey said that since the matter pertained to him, he would not like to give a ruling. He requested Uttam to come to the chair and deal with the matter. After listening to members, Uttam decided to constitute a committee to probe the matter and submit a report by March 6.

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