KARNATAKA

Minister welcomes move to look into suicide by farmers

Bangalore Oct. 10. The Law Minister, D.B. Chandre Gowda, has welcomed the move by the National Human Rights Commission, headed by Justice A.S. Anand, to appoint a rapporteur to inquire into the suicide by farmers in the State.

When his attention was drawn to the statement of Mr. Justice Anand here on Thursday, Mr. Chandre Gowda, who was talking to presspersons who met him here today, said he had never questioned the authority of the commission. "Somebody else had questioned its authority," he said.

Asked about Mr. Justice Anand's observation that the commission was yet to receive a report from the Government on the suicide by farmers, Mr. Gowda said it would be provided.

On the displeasure expressed by the commission with regard to the rehabilitation of bonded labourers, he said he would get the matter examined.

Mr. Chandre Gowda, who is also in charge of Parliamentary Affairs, defended the decision of the Privileges Committee of the Legislative Council requiring the presence of B. Krishna Bhat, president of the Vishwabharati House-building Society, in connection with a breach of privilege matter despite a stay order by the High Court on the notices issued by the committee.

When his reaction was sought to the failure of the Chief Secretary to the Government to appear before the Public Accounts Committee of the Legislature which had asked him to appear before it, Mr. Chandre Gowda said one had to face the music as nobody was above the Legislature.

He expressed confidence that there would be no problem in the smooth conduct of the Shobha Yatra, part of the Dattamale abhiyan at Bababudangiri in Chikmagalur district.

Asked at what stage the move to absorb candidates whose appointments under the rural weightage scheme had been cancelled was, the Minister said that 210 memorandums received against the draft rules had been categorised into 15 groups depending on the nature of objections and processed. The matter was likely to come up before the meeting of the Cabinet on October 16.