Indian Parliament Bars Lawmaker Arrested for People Smuggling

April 26 (Bloomberg) -- India's parliament barred a lawmaker from the house after he was arrested last week at New Delhi airport for trying to smuggle people overseas using forged travel documents. Babubhai K. Katara, 46, a lawmaker from the India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, was arrested on April 18 for trying to smuggle a woman and a boy to Canada on the passports of his wife and son in return for payment. Katara, who has been suspended from his party, is in police custody. ``The house is distressed'' and will ``take necessary action so that the dignity of the house is not tarnished,'' Somnath Chatterjee, speaker of the Lok Sabha, or lower house, said in parliament in New Delhi today.``I strongly disapprove the conduct of the member and condemn'' his actions.

 

Indian lawmakers from a range of political parties have been caught in corruption scandals ranging from the purchase of weapons to the discretionary allotment of gasoline stations. Parliament in December 2005 expelled 11 lawmakers caught on television cameras taking cash for asking questions in the upper and lower houses. The police has sent a notice to four other lawmakers ``to join in the investigation'' after being named by one of the persons arrested in the human-trafficking case, Rajan Bhagat, spokesman for Delhi Police, said in a phone interview. They are Mitrasen Yadav, Ashok Kumar Rawat and Mohammad Tahir Kahn of the Bahujan Samaj Party and Ramswaroop Koli, of Katara's Bharatiya Janata Party, Bhagat said.

About 125 members elected to the 545-seat lower house of parliament have criminal cases ranging from rioting to murder and rape, according to a 2006 report by Social Watch India, a New-Delhi based social organization that monitors governance in India. In November 2006, former cabinet minister Shibu Soren was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court for conspiring to kidnap and murder his former private secretary in 1975. The speaker has called a meeting of lawmakers to decide the course of action to deal with crimes committed by members. --Editor: Mohideen.

  • Parliament
  • NSW monitors the health of Indian Parliament by examining and establishing some worrying trends in the way in which the Parliament functions and conducts its business. Read more
  • Judiciary
  • NSW study the specific cases to understand the mind of the Judiciary. Under this section NSW analyzes issues and proposals on judicial accountability and reforms. Read more
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