Lok Sabha panel asks Deoghar DC to appear on BJP MP’s complaint letter

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha ‘Committee on Privileges’ on Monday ordered Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Jharkhand’s Deoghar Manjunath Bhajantri to appear on May 18 for oral evidence on Lok Sabha MP Nishikant Dubey’s letter alleging “breach of privilege” against him. I went.

The alleged incidents took place last year, when Dubey, the MP from Jharkhand’s Godda, and fellow BJP MP Manoj Tiwari were stopped from boarding a flight out of Deoghar, and allegations and counter-allegations followed.

Dubey wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on September 5, 2022, stating that Bhajantri had committed an “unwarranted breach of privilege”, and cited instances of “harassment”.

In response, Bhajantri wrote to the state government on December 22, 2022, a copy of which was forwarded to the Lok Sabha Secretariat, calling Dubey’s allegations “false”.

The immediate trigger for Dubey’s letter was the administration’s move to file an FIR against him and his two sons on August 31, 2022. This came after Tiwari reached Dumka in a chartered plane to meet the family of a minor girl who had died of burns. , According to Dubey, when he and Tiwari along with others reached the airport for the return journey, the officials raised issues about flying at night.

According to the FIR, Dubey and others allegedly “forcibly” entered the air traffic control (ATC) area at the Deoghar airport and obtained clearance to take off, even though the airport had “night take-off and landing facilities”. Wasn’t – an allegation denied by Dubey.

In a counter-FIR, the Delhi Police filed a sedition case against Bhajantri and “other Jharkhand police officers” for allegedly entering the “restricted section of Deoghar airport” and “playing with national security”.

The Jharkhand High Court quashed the FIR against Dubey in March this year, saying the case was “malicious”. The HC said that as per rules, flights can take off 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset and there was ATC clearance. Therefore, it ruled, no prosecution can be instituted against Dubey.

Sources said the Jharkhand government is in the process of filing an appeal against the order.

In his letter to Birla, Dubey alleged that Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren was “complaining against me because of the overwhelming public support in questioning his wrongdoings and corrupt practices… Soon (Soren) asked the DC Which started troubling me…” He alleged that the Election Commission of India also “misused his official position”, but no action was taken.

On the ATC incident, Dubey wrote that the airport authorities invited him to see the operational aspects of the new airport. “On September 1, when Shri Manjunath Bhajantri got wind of this, he suddenly appeared at the airport and started abusing me and other dignitaries… When the airport director protested, he (DC) started shouting I was not authorized to tour ATC. He also pointed out… that I coerced the Airport Authority of India staff to give permission to take off after sunset…”

Alleging that Dubey’s “letter to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha quoted (a) fanciful and fabricated story”, Bhajantri wrote in response: “I am performing my duties by following the Constitution. … He has alleged that the undersigned (Bhajantri) abused the MPs on 1st September… On the contrary, on 31st August both the MPs flew away from Deoghar after sunset.