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Updated: February 17, 2012 13:35 IST

Speaker constitutes panel to probe phone porn scandal

Special Correspondent
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K G Bopaiah Speaker in Legislative Assembly addressing the press conference in Bangalore on 1st, June 2011. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K
The Hindu K G Bopaiah Speaker in Legislative Assembly addressing the press conference in Bangalore on 1st, June 2011. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly K.G. Bopaiah on Thursday constituted a seven-member legislature committee to inquire into the charge that three legislators of the Bharatiya Janata Party had viewed obscene clips on a cellphone while the Assembly was in session recently. The committee has been asked to submit its report by March 13.

BJP legislator Shreeshailappa Bidarur has been appointed chairman of the committee. The other members are Nehru Olekar, B. Suresh Gowda and S.R. Vishwanath (BJP), H.C. Mahadevappa and Amaregowda Bayyapur Patil (Congress) and Dinakar Shetty (JD-S). The Speaker had earlier requested the floor leaders of the two Opposition parties to recommend legislators for appointment to the committee. When they refused to heed his request, the Speaker named the members of the committee.

Three former Ministers — Laxman Savadi, C.C. Patil and J. Krishna Palemar — accused of watching porn clips in the legislature session have replied to the notice served on them.

Mr. Bopaiah told presspersons that he would go through the replies and refer them to the committee.

When reminded that the Opposition parties had refused to be a part of the committee on the grounds that the offence committed by the three was known and there was no need for an inquiry, the Speaker said he would continue his efforts to make them agree to join the committee.

Refusing to divulge details of the MLAs' replies, the Speaker said it had become part of the proceedings of the Assembly and the committee would give its findings after its investigation. He also refused to say whether the cellphone had been seized for the purpose of investigation.

Asked to comment on the complaint lodged against the MLAs in the Cubbon Park police station, he said it was between the police and the court concerned, and he could not anticipate the outcome.

Mr. Bopaiah refused to comment on whether the police could prosecute the MLAs without taking the Speaker's permission, but added that he would act according to the law.

He said he had decided to suspend the three MLAs from attending the session only after consulting Opposition leaders.

He refused to say whether the suspension would be lifted to allow them to attend the budget session of the Assembly.

When it was pointed out that he had not disciplined some MLAs for their unruly behaviour in the Assembly, Mr. Bopaiah said the Opposition could move a resolution on such occasions for taking action against them.

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