Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Kagodu Thimmappa on Tuesday referred to the privilege committee a breach of privilege motion against V. Balasubramanian, chairperson of the Task Force for Recovery of Public Lands, following a privilege motion moved by senior Congress leader and former Speaker Ramesh Kumar.

Drawing the attention of the Speaker, Mr. Ramesh Kumar referred to an interview given by Mr. Balasubramanian where he had accused Assembly members of encroaching forest land. Janata Dal (Secular) member H.D. Revanna and D.N. Jeevaraj of the Bharatiya Janata Party also supported the motion.

Replying on behalf of the government, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs T.B. Jayachandra said after submitting the report to the government Mr. Balasubramanian, conducted a press conferences and revealed its contents. “It looks like Mr. Balasubramanian wanted to politicise the issue,” he said.

It was a case of breach of privilege, as the interview of Mr. Balasubramanian created suspicion in the minds of the people. It was a fit case for referring to the privilege committee. Accepting the argument of Mr. Jayachandra, the Speaker referred the issue to the privilege committee.

Moving the privilege notice, Mr. Ramesh Kumar said even after the Karnataka High Court directed the authorities to conduct a re-survey of some of the lands in his possession, Mr. Balasubramanian in his interview to a Kannada daily accused him (Mr. Kumar) of encroaching forest land and of violating the law.

The task force was set up in July 2009 by the B.S. Yeddyurappa government to identify and recover encroached government land.

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