Pareena fights for right to attend House meetings

Pareena fights for right to attend House meetings

Pareena Kraikupt, a Palang Pracharath Party MP for Ratchaburi, attends a House meeting on Feb 16 this year. (Photo: Chanat Katanayu)
Pareena Kraikupt, a Palang Pracharath Party MP for Ratchaburi, attends a House meeting on Feb 16 this year. (Photo: Chanat Katanayu)

Pareena Kraikupt, a Palang Pracharath Party MP for Ratchaburi, will seek a Constitutional Court ruling if the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) opts to formally ask the Supreme Court to order her to stop attending House committee meetings, the MP's lawyer said on Tuesday.

Thiwa Krasang made the statement during a session convened by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders. The aim of the meeting was to examine evidence in the case in which Ms Pareena is accused of committing a severe ethical violation as an MP by allegedly possessing land illegally in a forest reserve in her native Ratchaburi province. 

The NACC said that since the Supreme Court has issued an injunction suspending Ms Pareena from performing her duties as an MP pending the outcome of the trial, she should not carry out her roles in House committee meetings. 

The suspension should also have applied to Ms Pareena's involvement in the House's scrutiny of the national budget bill, according to the NACC. The scrutiny was completed before the new fiscal year began last month. 

On Tuesday Mr Thiwa said what the NACC was proposing was unprecedented as there has never been an order issued by a court of justice stipulating that an MP serving a suspension must also stop participating in House meetings. 

The lawyer added Ms Pareena was legally appointed by parliament to work as a member of select House committees.

If the NACC formally sought for her to be blocked, the issue should be referred to the Constitutional Court, he said. 

At Tuesday's session, the court also scheduled hearings for the NACC's 12 witnesses and Ms Pareena's 10 witnesses before its ruling on April 7. 

The Supreme Court has thrown out a petition by Ms Pareena that accused the NACC of taking the case against her to the court without the approval of the entire NACC board of commissioners.


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