Court seeks list of MPs not paying phone, power bills

August 6th, 2008 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked various government agencies to prepare a list of parliamenty members whose pending telephone and electricity bills are running into millions of rupees. The court also suggested the agencies to recover the money from the political parties the MPs are affiliated with if they themselves do not clear their dues on time.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar asked the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) to prepare a list of the defaulting MPs and the names of their political parties.

The court passed the order after the Lok Sabha Secretariat informed it that the dues are recovered by deducting a certain amount from the defaulting MPs’ salary.

However, the secretariat said the dues in some cases were so huge that it would take it a long time to recover the entire amount.

Counsel also submitted that the agencies have no difficulty in recovering money from sitting MPs but it was a problem in case of those who are no more a MPs and have dues running into millions of rupees.

Counsel for the ITDC said a total of Rs.10 million was pending against 244 MPs and it had initiated proceedings against 37 MPs.

The NDMC’s lawyer informed the court that the unpaid bills of MPs added up to Rs.50 million though he did not mention their number.

The MTNL counsel said MPs owed it Rs.60 million.

The court was hearing a public interest petition seeking directions to the government agencies to take action against politicians who are not paying house rent, telephone bills or electricity bills.

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