A committee of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly constituted by Speaker K.G. Bopaiah to look into the unruly scenes in the House during the first confidence vote on October 11 has recommended suspension of the Assembly membership of 15 legislators of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular). Some of them will be suspended for six months and the others for one year.
The reports of two committees — one headed by Appachu Ranjan and the other by D. Hemachandra Sagar (both of the BJP) — which went into the unruly scenes in the Assembly during the election of the Speaker in December 2009, were tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday. While the former has recommended suspension of membership of 15 legislators, the latter has recommended several steps to ensure the maintenance of decorum on the floor of the Assembly.
Amid the dharna and walkout by the entire Opposition on Thursday, the Appachu Ranjan committee tabled the 287-page report. The panel recommended suspension of membership of Rahim Khan, Kakaso Panduranga Patil, U.T. Khader, N.A. Harris, (all Congress), B.Z. Zameer Ahmed, H.C. Balakrishna, C.S. Puttaraju, M.T. Krishnappa (all JD-S), for one year; and B.K. Sangamesh, Suresh Gowda, P.M. Ashok, H.P. Manjunath, (all Congress), Bandeppa Kashempur, K. Raju and K.P. Bache Gowda (all JD-S) for six months.
The Speaker set up the committee while acting on a petition filed by the BJP members who stated that Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs lowered the dignity of the House by creating unruly scenes and using unparliamentary language against the Speaker during the trust vote. Fifteen Congress and JD (S) MLAs and the Assembly staff and marshals appeared before the panel and gave their statements. The panel recommended to the Speaker that 15 MLAs should not be allowed to enter the Vidhana Soudha (Secretariat), the Legislators' Home (LH) and to be declared ineligible to obtain allowances during the suspension period.
The Hemachandra Sagar committee has recommended the suspension of Assembly membership (for the rest of the term of the Assembly) of the members who, in future, jumped onto the Speaker's podium and disturbed the official business. The panel said the former Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) MLA, Zameer Ahmed Khan, the Congress' Rahim Khan and Panduranga Kaka Sab, H.C. Balakrishna of the Janata Dal (Secular) and others jumped onto the Speaker's podium, pulled the microphone when N. Yogish Bhat, who was presiding over the proceedings on December 30, 2009, took up the agenda of election of Speaker.
In the midst of the unprecedented unruly scenes, K.G. Bopaiah, the then Deputy Speaker, was declared elected Speaker. Later, four BJP MLAs petitioned the Speaker for action against those members who indulged in violent acts.
The panel condemned the action of four members and termed the unruly scenes “unfortunate.” Such incidents lowered the dignity of the House.
The panel recommended constitution of an Ethics Committee by amending rules concerned to ensure discipline among members during the session.