House panel recommends suspension of 15 MLAs

They were guilty of unruly behaviour: Appachu Ranjan Committee

Appachu RanjanThe committee has recommended that eight legislators be suspended from the membership of the Assembly for one year and seven others for six months for creating pandemonium, lowering the dignity of the House and curbing the rights of other members.

The report which was tabled in the Assembly on Thursday also found the 15 Opposition legislators - eight Congress and seven JD (S) - guilty of indiscipline, violating rules and procedures, showing disrespect to the Speaker and breach of privilege of the House.

The panel has recommended suspension of  Rahim Khan (Bidar), Kakasaheb Panduranga Patil (Nippani), N A Haris (Shantinagar), U T Khadar (Mangalore) - all Congress and B Z Zameer Ahmed (Chamarajpet), H C Balakrishna (Magadi), C S Puttaraju (Melkote) and M T Krishnappa (Turuvekere) - all JD(S), for one year.

The panel has recommended suspension of B K Sangameshwara (Bhadravati), Suresh Gowda (Nagamangala), H P Manjunath (Hunsur), P M Ashok (Ramadurga) - all Congress and Bandeppa Kashempur (Bidar South), K Raju (Ramanagara), K P Bachche Gowda (Chikkaballapur) - all JD(S), for six months.

The Assembly adopted a resolution authorising the Speaker to take appropriate action on the report. The Opposition members had kept off from the House when the resolution was tabled.

 The six-member committee made the recommendations after watching video footage of the events that happened in the Assembly, besides recording statements of the Assembly staff and the marshals. The 15 legislators also appeared before the panel to give their version.

Speaker KG Bopaiah had constituted the committee acting on a petition filed by the BJP. The panel, when formed, had six members - three each from the ruling parties and the Opposition parties. But later, only the BJP members remained in the panel.

The panel, in its 287-page report, has recommended that the 15 MLAs should be declared ineligible for facilities provided to legislators during the suspension period. Besides, they should not be allowed to enter the Vidhana Soudha and the Legislators’ Home.

Breach of privilege: Cong

Congress members alleged that the Appachu Ranjan Committee report was leaked to the media before being tabled in the Assembly. Citing breach of privilege, the Congress demanded that the matter be referred to the privileges committee.

However, Ranjan said his report was not leaked before it was tabled in the House. The reports which appeared in newspapers had nothing in common with the content of the committee’s report, he told reporters.

The motion for breach of privilege was sought to be moved by Sharan Rudrappa Patil and N L Narendra Babu (both Congress). They demanded that the report should not be tabled in the House till the privileges committee gave its recommendations.

 Observations

- Rahim Khan, Zameer Ahmed, H C Balakrishna and K Panduranga Patil have no respect for the House.
- These members indulged in unruly behaviour during election of Speaker last October.
- A few MLCs and former MLAs entered Assembly during the trust vote.
- Speaker should write to Council Chairman to take action against these MLCs
- Police should be directed to take suitable action to ensure safety of members during session
- Information Department failed to capture session proceedings during trust vote on CCTV
- It should take disciplinary action against its officers
 

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