Speaker refuses discussion on chit fund scam

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Assembly plunged into turmoil and was adjourned for the day without transacting any business today as Speaker Niranjan Pujari rejected opposition notices seeking a debate on multi-crore chit fund scam.

“Question pertaining to chit fund issue, which is the subject matter of adjudication before the designated courts and subject matter of investigation by CBI as well as inquiry under the commission set up under Commission of Inquiry Act, should not be allowed to be raised in the Assembly,” Pujari said quoting Advocate General Surya Prasad Mishra.

The Speaker had on November 25 sought AG’s advice on whether to allow a debate in the House on chit fund issue.

“I have meanwhile received the advice of the Advocate General and feel that his suggestions are justified.

Therefore, there cannot be discussion on chit fund issue in the Assembly,” Pujari said in his ruling.

“In this context, no honourable member can raise or refer the chit fund issue in the Assembly even during the demand discussion,” Pujari announced.

Opposition Congress and BJP, however, rejected the Speaker’s ruling and raised question on the authority of the Advocate General on the matter of freedom of speech of the members of the assembly.

“The Advocate General’s observation on the matter is not based on any rule or logic. Therefore, we do not accept it and allow anyone to infringe into the privilege of the members,” Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress said, asking the Speaker to summon the Advocate General to the House for clarification on his advice. (More) PTI AAM SKN RG