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Archive for Saturday, December 24, 2005

11 lawmakers expelled from India’s parliament

December 24, 2005

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— Taking a stand against corruption, India's parliament ended its winter session Friday with a vote to expel 11 lawmakers caught taking bribes in a television station's sting operation.

The lower house voted to expel 10 lawmakers and the upper house threw out one member, the first time that body has expelled one of its own. The powerful lower house, or Lok Sabha, has not removed a member since 1951.

The 11 legislators belonging to parties across the political spectrum were shown on the independent Aaj Tak television channel earlier this month accepting cash from journalists who posed as representatives of a fictitious lobbying group in what the station called an effort to expose corruption.

The lawmakers took up the journalists' offers of bribes ranging from $325 to $2,400 in exchange for promises to raise more than 60 questions in parliament.

At least 25 of the questions were accepted and put to various ministers and government officials, who were forced to address issues they otherwise would not have, according to the news Web site Cobrapost, which worked with Aaj Tak on the sting.

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