The Lok Sabha secretariat on Monday told the Supreme Court that former MP Mahua Moitra’s plea challenging her suspension from the Lower House of Parliament is beyond the scope of judicial review, reported Bar and Bench.

It said that the plea cannot be examined by courts as this would violate the separation of powers between the executive and judiciary, which is a fundamental feature of the Constitution.

Moitra, a Trinamool Congress leader who represented West Bengal’s Krishnanagar constituency, was expelled from Parliament on December 8 on the basis of a motion moved by Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi.

The motion, in turn, was based on a recommendation by the Lok Sabha’s Ethics Committee that had found Moitra guilty of having shared her login credentials to the Parliamentary website with Dubai-based businessman Darshan Hiranandani and accepting gifts in exchange for asking the questions in Parliament.

On Monday, the Lok Sabha secretariat told the Supreme Court that Parliament’s decision to expel Moitra was taken in its capacity as a sovereign body. The secretariat said that internal procedures were followed and that these could not be tested based on the doctrine of proportionality.

The doctrine of proportionality refers to the legal principle that any administrative action or decision taken against an individual must be proportional to their act.

The secretariat countered Moitra’s position by invoking Article 122 of the Constitution, which says that the “validity of any proceedings in Parliament shall not be called in question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure”.

It also says that no member of Parliament who is authorised to regulate the House’s proceedings will be subject “to the jurisdiction of any court in respect of the exercise by him of those powers”.

In its reply to Moitra’s plea, the Lok Sabha secretariat said that “proceedings of Parliament [and its constituents] cannot be called into question…and the House of the People is the sole judge of the lawfulness of proceedings before it”.

The secretariat’s affidavit, according to The Times of India, also said that an individual’s right to be elected to Parliament and continue in such a position is not a fundamental right.

“Hence, Moitra's petition under Article 32 of the Constitution is not maintainable,” the secretariat has submitted to the Supreme Court.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta is scheduled to hear the matter next on May 6.

The allegations against Moitra were first made by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey and advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai, who is reportedly Moitra’s estranged partner.

Soon after her expulsion, Moitra moved the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution, which guarantees every individual the right to approach the top court if their fundamental rights have been violated.