SEARCH

News » National

Updated: March 1, 2012 01:52 IST

Porn probe panel grills media over telecast of footage

    Laiqh A. Khan
    Sudipto Mondal
Comment (15)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
K.G. Bopaiah
The Hindu
K.G. Bopaiah

Even before it could take a decision on summoning the three former Ministers found watching pornographic video clippings on a mobile phone, the Legislative Assembly Committee — constituted by Speaker K.G. Bopaiah to probe the episode — has begun the process of grilling representatives of television channels for telecasting the damning footage.

The editor of a Kannada channel, who appeared before the committee on Wednesday, was asked questions that seemed to suggest that the media was wrong in telecasting the episode. “Don't you know that what you had done is a violation of Rules 6, 17 and 20 of the Karnataka Vidhana Soudha press gallery rules?” was one of the 15 questions posed to the editor.

Congress, JD(S) boycott panel

Five of the 15 questions were part of a dossier circulated among the four ruling party legislators in the seven-member panel. The Congress and the JD(S) have boycotted the committee. The other 10 questions were asked spontaneously.

The questions ranged from “What is the purpose of your organisation when securing entrance into the Assembly?” to “Instead of recording the proceedings of the Assembly, your journalist forgot his primary duty and recorded indecent and unnecessary things on his camera. Is this correct? What was the intention behind this?”

Among the other questions were: “Without the Speaker's permission, knowing that the visuals were unparliamentary, you have telecast it through the day. Is this right on your part?” and “Showing these kind of visuals could affect the viewers, so don't you think you are violating the constitutional provision of freedom of expression?”

Asked to respond, the editor said, “What I have been asked is already in the public domain. I would not like to comment on it as it can be construed as a breach of privilege.”

Another senior journalist from a Kannada television channel has been summoned to appear before the committee on Thursday.

A member of the panel confirmed to The Hindu that the panel had summoned representatives of another regional television channel on Thursday, where the same set of queries is expected to be posed.

The former Ministers, Laxman Savadi, C.C. Patil and J. Krishna Palemar, had to resign from the BJP government after television channels exposed them watching pornographic video clippings during the Assembly session on February 7.

Reply to show-cause

Meanwhile, Shrishailappa Bidarur, who heads the Assembly Committee, told presspersons that the panel, which had received replies from the three Ministers to the show-cause served on them, would take a decision on Thursday whether to summon them before the panel.

The committee would submit report by March 13, the deadline set by the Speaker, he said.

Apart from Mr. Bidarur, the panel comprises BJP MLAs S.R. Vishwanath, Nehru Olekar and Suresh Gowda. H.C. Mahadevappa and Amare Gowda Bayyapur of the Congress and Dinakar Shetty of the JD(S) have boycotted the panel.

now nobody can escape from press now it is very strong

from:  sheshadri
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 17:30 IST

Respected committee members in the first place do you understand why people have elected you to the assembly. If you guys had at least understood your duties properly forget discharging them, this episode wouldn't have arised at all.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Mar 2, 2012 at 14:17 IST

In other words, even if there was a murder taking place, our journalists should have stayed on course, kept their cameras on the faces of our great leaders discussing some great issue? This is a holler and a hoot, and deserves our unconditional and unambiguous rejection! Do these people think we are fools? Here's a defence I'd offer if I was a journalist - "Honourable Sir, I was covering the proceedings, but sorry I got distracted by the amazing videos some people were watching!" What are they going to do? The BJP talks of moral policing the country, talks like they are custodians of our culture, is against women attending parties and what not, but they are okay with watching pornography in working hours, during an assembly session? I'm betting we haven't seen the lowest point in this episode!

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: Mar 2, 2012 at 00:00 IST

1.Doesn't the Committee know that what the ministers were doing is a violation of public decency and morality? Not to mention wasting taxpayers' money? 2.What is the purpose for which these eminent legislators got elected into the State Legislature? 3.Instead of legislating, the ministers' primary, nay only duty, they were watching indecent things on their mobiles. Is THAT correct? 4.Did the eminent legislators seek the Speaker's permission before watching porn? Porn is, by thy own admission, unparliamentary! 5.The Indian constitution has no article relating to legislation/regulation on porn.Surely the porn clip was irrelevant to the Assembly proceedings, that is, the legislators were indulging in irrelevant activities in the Legislature. Isn't this a flagrant violation of the duties of a legislator? A set of questions the Committee should answer.
An eminent civil society member should examine the relevant legal areas and file a lawsuit against these eminent personalities.

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 21:59 IST

Instead of
sacking and punishing the jokers watching pornography while the
house was on the committee probing "porn-gate" scandal is trying to sack
and punish the journalist. wait! and we will see these porn-masters
legislating a law to ban media inside the house. If very stringent and
deterring actions are not taken against the guilty MLAs I suspect our
PARL-iament turning into "PORN-iament". Please read the message rather
than shooting the messenger!

from:  Ajeet Tiwari from Patna
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 18:58 IST

Our country is "made for" our politicans and not for "us".
Therefore they are correct in grilling the media.

from:  Antop
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 18:55 IST

Let the politician not teach the journalist how to do his job when people working with him can't do their own. If he thinks the journalist violated his freedom of expression, he is now trying to violate the journalist's not only his freedom of speech but also his basic duty simply in a defensive maneuvre that will certainly cost him.
If everyone did their job as they were supposed to, progress could be made and we wouldn't have to read such unnecessary news articles every other day. With whatever intention, be it sensationalization or upholding free speech, that journalist did his job. Hopefully, the politicians will find their carrot-stick soon.

from:  Damien Dedalus
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 10:37 IST

[“Instead of recording the proceedings of the Assembly, your journalist forgot his primary duty and recorded indecent and unnecessary things on his camera. Is this correct?"]
Wasn't the daring journalist showing just the 'proceedings' in the Assembly? Don't we have a right to know what the legislators we elected do in the assembly? The media just did its job in showing what was going on. Whatever followed was due to public outrage, the media did not add fuel to it.

from:  A. Kale
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 10:34 IST

The intent of the media is to accurately report on the proceedings and activities in the house, which they did with the utmost integrity. Kudos to the media, shame on the politicians involved. The politicians involved violated the trust and responsibility entrusted to them by their constituents by not paying attention to the proceedings and by indulging in juvenile and inappropriate activity. While they did not commit a crime, their actions warranted their resignation. They have learned the lessons from their actions. Now we can all get on with their lives.

from:  Rajinikanth
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 10:19 IST

The journalist's duty must always be to report NEWS (facts), this line of questioning by the committee is inappropriate and unconstitutional. And any laws that prevent a journalist from performing his 'duty to inform' must be amended or abolished. Politicians deserve to be scrutinized from every possible aspect as they exploit the trust that their people place in them and such actions NEED to be made public at all costs. This bit of information only made news because it was pornography. It goes to show that the members of the parliament are not serious about their duties. THEY are the ones to be questioned and disciplined. Not the journalist as he was the only one really doing his job.

from:  a.johnson
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 09:57 IST

[“Showing these kind of visuals could affect the viewers, so don't you think you are violating the constitutional provision of freedom of expression?”] This question perfectly demonstrates a total inability to grasp the concept of freedom of expression.

from:  Ashu
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 09:33 IST

A correspondent enters a politician's house for an aapointment with
him. He sees thievfes inside looting inside. He catches them on camera and transmits to the paper. Nextr day in an enquiry he is asked- you purpose was to meet the politician.,and not to report the thieves. You had no business to relay other activities,. We can extend this to rape at the politico's house or any other misbehaviour, and this can be violation of privacy. Legislators of Karnataka ruling party unite, as no one has business to be intrusive when they spend public time and money to watch pornography.

from:  k.a.iyengar
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 08:29 IST

Ok, these respected "committees" and political parties dig their
own grave by asking all wrong questions. Do they want the media
to close its eyes at the wrong doings of the assembly members?
Who are these guys trying to restrain? The wrong doer sitting in
the assembly or the messenger? We need to grant all media people unrestricted coverage of the proceedings of the assembly. Any sane person can clearly understand the "frustration" of the respected "committee" members that this grilling is because the cats are out of the bag. Right thinking political parties should denounce this kind of political highhandedness.

from:  Arvind Shetty
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 04:59 IST

Oh that is nice! Silence the media and NEWS agency. It’s like the
proverb of “cat closing its eyes while drinking the stolen milk” .. Stop media from looking into the evil things of these politicians and problem is solved.

from:  Vignesh B
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 04:20 IST

This makes it clear that even if you happen to see legislators seeing
pornography during a serious discussion is going on in the house, you
are not supposed to pay attention to those who are watching porn,
instead only concentrate on the discussion. Shame on the panel and
Karnataka Govt.

from:  Eddy
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 03:39 IST
Show all comments
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Tamil Nadu

Andhra Pradesh

Other States

Kerala

Karnataka

Telangana


O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in National

Congress president Sonia Gandhi consoles a woman while meeting farmers who suffered losses due to unseasonal rains in Rae Bareli on Saturday.

Rahul will be back ‘soon’: Sonia

Congress chief visits farmers who have been affected by unseasonal rains and hailstorm and also families who lost their members in the Bachrawan train accident. »