Can cash-for-vote panel summon Amar, Ahmed: Telecast on hold

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New Delhi, Jul 30 (UNI) A seven-member Parliamentary Committee, appointed by Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to look into the 'cash-for-vote' scandal that rocked the Lok Sabha on July 22 ahead of the Trust Vote, today discussed whether it could interrogate Amar Singh and Ahmed Patel, two members of the Rajya Sabha who allegedly offered the bribes.

Talking to UNI, BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who attended the meeting, said the committee discussed whether it was empowered to summon Rajya Sabha members for interrogation. As such the committee is not entitled to call RS members before it.

Therefore it would either have to approach the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha for permission or the House permission would be sought for summoning Rajya Sabha members, he said.

The committee will view on August 4 the video footage of the cash being offered to the 3 BJP MPs for abstaining from voting.

The decision in this regard was taken at the first meeting of the Committee, chaired by Mr Kishore Chandra Deo today.

Mr Malhotra conceded that the CD footage was in the committee's possession and they would view it on August 4.

Besides Mr Deo and Mr Malhotra, the meeting was attended by Mr Ramgopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Mr Devendra Yadav (RJD) and Mohammad Salim (CPM). Mr Rajesh Verma (BSP) and Mr C Kuppuswamy (DMK) were present.

TV news channel CNN-IBN, meanwhile, said it would like to wait for the report of the inquiry set up by the Speaker before telecasting the sting tapes.

The channel, however, it said it reserved the right to air the story as and when it was in a position to do so.

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