Bangalore: Speaker K.G. Bopaiah referred the complaint made by Suresh Gowda (Congress), representing Nagamangala in the Legislative Assembly, against the Range Forest Officer (RFO) of Nagamangala taluk to the Privileges Committee of the House.
Deputy Leader of the Congress T.B. Jayachandra, Sharan Prakash Patil, U.T. Khader, Puttaraju and C.T. Ravi also supported Mr. Gowda's demand.
The member alleged that RFO M.S. Sakappa had seized tractors of farmers, who went to the forests.
This was questioned by Mr. Gowda resulting in altercation between Mr. Gowda and Mr. Sakappa on January 26. Enraged by this, the officer lodged a police complaint against the MLA and also briefed the incident to the media tarnishing his image, Mr. Jayachandra said.
Meanwhile, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief of Forest Task Force in his report dated February 5 said that Mr. Sakappa had admitted his failure in handling the case.
The officer, who was asked to go on leave initially by the Department, was also suspended on the basis of the enquiry report filed by the Mysore DFO.
Law and Urban Development Minister S. Suresh Kumar, while admitting that the officer had misbehaved with the MLA, however, opined that the case should not be referred to the Privileges Committee.
But, the Speaker ruled that this was a fit case for the Committee to probe the behaviour of the officer.