Rahul Gandhi. Photo: ANI
New Delhi: The Privileges Committee of Lok Sabha, which is examining the breach of privilege notice against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, will be seeking further opinion in the matter, sources said.
The panel, chaired by BJP MP Sunil Singh, includes several opposition members including K Suresh of Congress, TR Baalu of DMK and TMC's Kalyan Banerjee
"The committee will study in detail any past cases and precedents. We will also seek any legal opinion, if need be," a source told ANI.
Rahul Gandhi, who is MP from Wayanad, was disqualified from Lok Sabha last week following his conviction by a Surat court in a criminal defamation case.
During the panel's last meeting, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey had deposed before it and demanded that Rahul Gandhi's membership of the House should be terminated for "making objectionable remarks" on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Dubey had told the panel that the debate was on the motion of thanks to President's address but Rahul Gandhi's speech was largely about Gautam Adani and that the Congress leader had mentioned the industrialist at least 75 times.
The BJP MP had said that three types of breach of privilege apply to Rahul Gandhi.
He cited Rule 352 (2) which states that a member can comment on a fellow parliamentarian only with prior notice. Dubey, according to sources, said this was breached by Rahul Gandhi by commenting on PM Modi.
Dubey also cited Subramanian Swamy's expulsion from Rajya Sabha in 1976. Referring to Gandhi's speech, he said casting aspersions on the conduct of PM is undermining democracy.
Dubey said while portions of Rahul Gandhi's speech were expunged, he checked on the social media handles of the Congress leader and the party and these still had the expunged speech and tweets.
He is learnt to have said that this undermines the authority of the Speaker, the sources said.
Dubey had on February 8 written to the Lok Sabha Speaker alleging breach of privilege by Rahul Gandhi.
The complaint came a day after Gandhi's speech in Lok Sabha where he made certain allegations about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged his association with Gautam Adani.
A similar complaint was made to the Speaker by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.
In his letter, Dubey had said Rahul Gandhi's remarks were "misleading, derogatory, indecent, unparliamentary, undignified and incriminatory" to the dignity of the House and Prime Minister who is a member.
"Rahul Gandhi, despite making a statement in the House that he would provide documentary evidence has not submitted any duly authenticated document for supporting his statements," he had said.
Dubey alleged that the Congress leader had made a statement which amounts to misleading the House in the absence of any documentary evidence besides being a reflection upon the Prime Minister.
"This conduct is in clear violation of the privileges of the House and its members besides being a clear case of contempt of the House. I request you to take immediate action against Rahul Gandhi for breach of privilege and contempt of House," the letter said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had launched a strong attack on the government in the wake of the Hindenburg-Adani row.