Court rebukes Kalmadi; Asks why he wants to attend parliament (Lead)

July 29th, 2011 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Thursday snubbed Congress MP and sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, who asked for permission to attend parliament, and said the government would not fall if he didn’t attend the session.

“There is no such important issue going to take place in parliament that if you (Kalmadi) do not attend the session then the government will fall,” Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw observed.

The court also asked Kalmadi’s counsel what his client would do attending parliament.

The parliament session is being broadcast on television news channels throughout the day, he said. Therefore, he may write a question on a piece on paper, which can be tabled before the house.

“What we notice here is that he hardly has any attendance…” the court observed.

The court supported Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A.S. Chandhiok’s arguments that if a government servant was not allowed to attend any top meetings when they are in custody, how could Kalmadi.

The court also issued notice to the home ministry and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the petition by Kalmadi, who is in Tihar jail on charges of financial irregularities ahead of the Games.

Justice Endlaw sought the responses by Monday (Aug 1) and directed Kalmadi to file an affidavit of his attendance record of the last five years in parliament.

Kalmadi’s counsel Ashok Desai said it would be difficult for him to get the attendance record of last five years. The court then said: “If five years would not be possible, then file the attendance record of the last session.”

“The accused shall also file an affidavit containing information about the type of questions being asked during the parliament session in last five years,” said the court.

“He has been parliamentarian since 1982. It his right to attend the session,” Kalmadi’s counsel argued, citing earlier court orders of different states that allowed former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, as also Rajesh Ranjan of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), to attend the session while in police custody.

The home ministry and CBI opposed Kalmadi’s application saying he could influence witnesses while attending the session. The monsoon session of parliament begins Aug 1.

The court also directed Kalmadi’s counsel to file his latest medical report. Kalmadi underwent a brain scan at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Thursday.

He dismissed reports that he was suffering from dementia and told reporters outside AIIMS: “I’m perfectly all right.”

Kalmadi was arrested April 25. The CBI May 20 filed its first chargesheet in the corruption case against him and 10 others.

The probe agency has described Kalmadi as the prime accused in the case related to financial irregularities in awarding a Rs.141 crore contract for timing, scoring and result system for the October 2010 sporting event.

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