The house committee appointed to probe the porngate scandal, which rocked the last legislature session allegedly involving three former Ministers, has exonerated C.C. Patil and Krishna Palemar and recommended a mere admonition of another, Laxman Savadi, with a warning to him not to repeating such behaviour in the Assembly.
Announcing the lifting of the ban on the participation of these three BJP MLAs in the proceedings of the House, Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, however, said that he would leave the responsibility of deciding on what action should be taken on the report to the House.
In the Assembly, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah criticised the Government for tabling the report at the fag end of the budget session and requested the Speaker to extend it by one more day. But, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S. Suresh Kumar said that the members could discuss it on Friday itself and refused to extend the session.
Accordingly, the Speaker adjourned the House sine die. The Committee headed by Biradur Srishailappa Virupakshappa, who submitted the report to the Speaker on March 19, opined that the charge against Mr. Patil and Mr. Palemar had not been proved in the absence of any credible evidence.
With respect to the watching of the porn clips by Mr. Savadi, the committee said that the mobile in which he saw the clips did not belong to him.
Though there were similarities between the scenes in the mobile and pen drive, Mr. Savadi was reading a government order at the time when he was allegedly watching the clips, the report added. The committee said that since Mr. Savadi had already apologised for using the mobile in the House and he had been punished by the Speaker, who banned him from participating in the proceedings, the charge against him had been prima facie established and he should be admonished by the Speaker with a warning that he should not repeat such things in future.
Speaking to mediapersons, Mr. Siddaramaiah charged that the report was placed deliberately on the last minute of the session and that the government failed to protect the dignity of the House. He alleged that the Speaker denied the Opposition its right to speak on the issue with a view to hush it up. He said that there was doubt if they could raise it in the next session, because of the prevailing political situation.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara said that the BJP had auctioned the dignity of the State, as the Government had failed to disqualify the three MLAs.
He also condemned the report for recommending curtailment of powers of the media, especially the television channels from covering the events in the House. He termed it as a big drama to hush up the whole episode.