Under attack, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann today expressed unconditional apology for filming Parliament complex as he was summoned by Lok Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who remained unimpressed and decided to consult political parties for “appropriate action” into the “grave misconduct”. The Speaker pulled up Mann when he appeared before her at around 11.10 am, sources in her office said. As the issue rocked both Houses of Parliament with MPs demanding strong action against him, including his disqualification, the Lok Sabha member from Sangrur told Mahajan that he had made the “mistake inadvertently” and that he had no intention of compromising the security of Parliament.
“I apologise unconditionally. I will not repeat it in future,” he said in his letter submitted to the Speaker for filming his route to Parliament, access and security details of the complex and uploading it on social media.
Mann said when he was coming to the House to attend Zero Hour, he had made the video “by mistake” as “I did not know that it is against the rules”. However, the Speaker, who saw it as “grave misconduct”, was not impressed by his apology as she felt it was not enough.
She said it was a matter “too serious” considering that Parliament has been attacked by terrorists once.
Mann’s action is seen as violative of two specific rules of Parliament rules — 334(A) which ‘prohibits advance publicity’ and 352 which says ‘inter alia video/tape recording should not be done’. Mahajan later told reporters that if it had been a matter concerning the proceedings inside the House, she would have taken action immediately.
But since it is a matter relating to the Parliament complex, she would consult political parties for “appropriate action”, she said.
The Speaker said this matter is above ethics or privilege as it concerns the security of Parliament and MPs who are the representatives of the people. In this context, the Speaker noted that Parliament complex has already been attacked by terrorists on December 13, 2001 in which 13 people lost their lives. The sources said the Speaker saw the controversial video film last evening and was shocked, wondering if every MP indulges in such an act, how then the dignity of Parliament could be maintained.
Before Mahajan came to the House, a number of MPs from Akali Dal, BJP and Shiv Sena met her and demanded action against Mann, the sources said. After her meeting with Mann, the Speaker held consultations with Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai and some other leaders to take suggestions on the matter. Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha witnessed uproar over the issue, with MPs demanding strong action against Mann, saying he had compromised the security of Parliament. Due to the uproar, both Houses could not transact any business and had to be adjourned for the day prematurely.