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  • Context (IE): The Ethics Committee of the LS has summoned Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra regarding allegations made by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey.
  • The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee consists of fifteen MPs nominated by the Speaker for a period of one year.

Procedure for complaints

  • Any person can complain against a Member through another LS MP, with evidence of the alleged misconduct and an affidavit stating that the complaint is not “false, frivolous, or vexatious”.
  • If the Member himself complains, the affidavit is not needed.
  • The Speaker can refer a complaint against an MP to the Committee.
  • The Committee does not entertain complaints based only on media reports or sub judice matters.
  • The Committee makes a prima facie inquiry before examining a complaint.
  • It makes its recommendations after evaluating the complaint.
  • The Committee presents its report to the Speaker.
  • LS Speaker asks the House if the report should be considered.
  • There is also a provision for a half-hour discussion on the report.

Overlapping Roles

  • The work of the Ethics Committee and the Privileges Committee often overlap.
  • An allegation of corruption against an MP can be sent to either body, but usually, more serious accusations go to the Privileges Committee.
  • The Ethics Committee can take up only cases of misconduct that involve MPs.

History of Ethics Committees

Ethics Committee of RS

  • In 1997, then Vice President (and RS Chairman) K R Narayanan constituted the Ethics Committee of RS to oversee members’ moral and ethical conduct and examine cases of misconduct referred to it.
  • The Rules applicable to the Committee of Privileges also applied to the ethics panel.

Ethics Committee of LS

  • The Committee of Privileges recommended the constitution of an Ethics Committee during the 13th Lok Sabha.
  • In 2000, an ad hoc Ethics Committee was constituted. It became a permanent part of the LS in 2015.
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