Obscene video row: Ethics committee to meet today

Bhubaneswar: The Ethics committee of Odisha Assembly is expected to decide on Tuesday on the modalities foe the investigation into the allegations of Congress legislator Naba Kishore Das watching objectionable video clip in the House during the winter session.

A letter from the Secretariat of Odisha Assembly, a copy of which is in possession of OTV, has been issued to the Committee members in this regard. While letter only read the meeting will ‘discuss the matters referred to the Committee by the Honourable Speaker,’ reliable sources told OTV that the Naba Das affair is the lone item on the agenda for today’s meeting.

“The modalities of investigation will be fixed if the obscene video case is tabled for discussion. Points such as the mode of investigation, deposition of the parties involved, witnesses (if any) etc. will be discussed in presence of the members,” BJD chief whip Anant Das said.

BJD legislator Sashi Bhusan Behera stated, “The committee is likely to discuss the case. It will look into the specific allegations levelled by the woman legislator.”

Meanwhile, denouncing the suspension of Jharsuguda MLA for a week over the matter, Salipur Congress legislator Prakash Chandra Behera said the truth will come out.

“Action should have been taken based on the investigation report of the Ethics Committee. Since the action has already been taken, the Committee will find out the truth and decide whom to call for witness,” Behera mentioned.

According to constitutional experts, though the Jharsuguda legislator has been charged with watching obscene videos in the House, the Speaker will decide on the action.

“The Committee must summon the legislator against whom allegations have been levelled. The Committee will prepare a report and will present it before the Speaker. It is the Speaker who will take a final call on this,” former Speaker Sarat Kar stated.

On December 14, 2015, Naba Kishore Das was suspended from the Assembly for a week on the charge of watching objectionable clips on his mobile phone in the House. The Speaker announced suspension of Das for a week after a motion brought by government chief whip Ananta Prasad Das was passed in the House by voice vote during the zero hour. BJD member Pramila Mallik, who had raised the issue, demanded that Das should be expelled from the House as his action had lowered the dignity of the Assembly.