HC directs MTNL,NDMC,ITDC to name parties of non-paying MPs

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New Delhi, Aug 6 (UNI) Delhi High Court today directed the MTNL, NDMC and ITDC to furnish the names of the political parties whose ex-MPs have defaulted in clearing their dues which run into crores of rupees.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Murlidhar, gave the directions when MTNL and the other two showed their inability to recover the dues from ex-MPs of the Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha as they no longer hold the post and have gone back to their constituencies.

Lawyer for MTNL told the court that bills worth Rs.4.71 crore are due from 244 MPs who are no longer in the post. However Rs seven crore was recovered by them, he added.

The counsel for NDMC said Rs 5.3 crore is due while ITDC claimed that Rs one crore is due from the ex-MPs.

The bench observed that it was a matter of great concern. ''We will issue the notice to the political parties whose MPs have defaulted in making the payment,'' the court observed.

The court issued directions to the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha secretariat to assist the three agencies to identify the parties of the MPs so that process of recovery from their parties could be made.

MTNL told the court that during their tenure it issued one phone each to an MP in the Capital and one phone in their respective constituencies which was monitored by the BSNL.

MTNL's greivance is that after a MP leaves the post, the Parliament Secretariat does not inform them for months. So the phone continues to function for more than six-seven months and bills keep mounting.

On the other hand counsels for Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariat told the court that the MTNL or other agencies do not send them the bills on time. ''If they send timely bills we can deduct the amount from the MPs' salaries, but after they retire we cannot do anything,'' counsel for Lok Sabha said.

A PIL was filed by lawyer A K Singh through his NGO Krishak Bharti that the sitting as well as former MPs owe crores of rupees to MTNL, NDMC and other civic agencies but the government is doing nothing to recover these dues.

MTNL said, ''we are crippled as whenever we start the recovery process the MPs approach the local courts or consumer forums and get an injunction against the recovery.'' UNI SNG SP Mir BD1905

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