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Chief Minister not to interfere in Sampangi case

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Remembering the mahatma: An employee of the Vidhana Soudha rings the bell for observing two-minute silence on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day in Bangalore on Friday.
Remembering the mahatma: An employee of the Vidhana Soudha rings the bell for observing two-minute silence on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day in Bangalore on Friday.

Special Correspondent

Assembly Speaker seeks report from Law Department

BANGALORE: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Friday said that he would not interfere in a case pertaining to trapping of the party MLA Y. Sampangi by the Karnataka Lokayukta for allegedly accepting bribe of Rs. 5 lakh at the Legislators’ Home here on Thursday.

Asked about his reaction to the episode, the Chief Minister told presspersons after paying tributes to father of the nation Mahatama Gandhi on the Martyr’s Day that he was “pained” by the development. The law would take its own course. President of the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party D.V. Sadannda Gowda has already suspended Mr. Sampangi from the party.

When asked whether the MLA would be expelled from the party, Mr Yeddyurappa said “wait and see”.

Mr. Sampangi, who represents Kolar Gold Fields (reserved) constituency, reportedly demanded Rs. 5 lakh from one Farooq, a businessman from Andersonpet, to close a case regarding a disputed site in Kolar Gold Fields.

Legislative Assembly Speaker Jagadish Shettar told presspersons that he had not received a detailed report from the Lokayukta regarding arrest of the MLA. The Lokayukta had in brief informed that the MLA was arrested under Section 13 (1) (b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.

A criminal case has been registered against the MLA, he said.

Mr. Shettar said he had sought a report from the Law Department and the Advocate-General on the steps to be taken against the MLA. Based on the report, he would take suitable action against the MLA. The issue would also be discussed with the floor leaders of the Opposition parties, he said.

Asked when he would take a decision against the MLA, Mr. Shettar said the decision would be taken before the budget session of the State Legislature, which would commence in the third week of February.

Parliament terminated membership of 11 MPs after the sting operation on the cash-for-questions scam. The Rajya Sabha agreed with the recommendation of its Ethics Committee while the Lok Sabha endorsed the report of the Pawan Kumar Bansal Committee set up to go into the allegations.

Similarly, he would take action based on the report submitted by the Law Department, Mr. Shettar said. On granting more powers to the Lokayukta, the Speaker said the issue would be discussed in the budget session of the legislature.

Based on the opinion of members, a house committee would be constituted for in-depth study of the issue.

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