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Naidu tells officials to create awareness on Ethics panel

Naidu tells officials to create awareness on Ethics panel

New Delhi: The Ethics Committee of Rajya Sabha has rejected complaints against 19 MPs as they were filed without following prescribed procedures, prompting Upper House Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to direct officials to create awareness among public about the functioning of the panel. Naidu's direction came after a review of the functioning of the Ethics Committee last week.

During the meeting, it came to his notice that 22 complaints against 19 members of Rajya Sabha during the last four years had to be returned by the Committee without examination, the sources said, adding that this was done since complaints were not made in accordance with the prescribed procedure.

The Ethics Committee of the Upper House oversees the conduct of members and examines complaints of unethical conduct to enable its effective functioning.

The sources further said that the complaints against 19 Rajya Sabha members of eight major parties from both the ruling and opposition benches, besides two independent members, were not taken up for preliminary examination by the Ethics Committee as they were not directly addressed to the authorities mentioned under Rule 295. Of these 22 complaints, 13 were referred to the RS secretariat by the Department of Personnel and Training, four each by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Lok Sabha secretariat, and one by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, on being addressed to them by the complainants.

Now the Rajya Sabha secretariat has forwarded a proposal to the Ethics Committee Chairman to re-examine the present rules regarding admission of complaints. As per Rule 295 of the "Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States", any person can make a complaint of unethical conduct against a member of the House in writing either to the Ethics Committee or an officer authorized by the Committee, a senior official said.

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