Ethics panel would have come in handy

While the porngate scandal rocks the BJP boat in the State, the government should have formed an ethics committee to resolve the matter speedily, rather than constitute an all-party committee to inquire into three former ministers allegedly watching an obscene video clipping inside the Assembly.

The All India Presiding Officers Conference had passed a resolution in 2006 on the formation of the ethics committee to look into the “conduct of legislators and parliamentarians inside and outside the House”.

Most States in the country and the Legislative Council in Karnataka have the committee, but the Assembly does not have one yet, even after several incidents of “misconduct” by the State legislators.

“Even the (MLA) Y Sampangi case (bribe-taking), which required the formation of a fresh panel to probe his actions, could have been avoided. The matter could have been easily resolved if the government had referred it to the Ethics Committee,” a source said.

Since 2006, the Department of Parliamentary Affairs has reminded the Assembly thrice to constitute an ethics committee, but to no avail.

Confirming that the Lower House in the State had not constituted an ethics committee, Assembly Speaker K Bopaiah told Deccan Herald: “The previous Speakers were least bothered about forming an ethics committee. Now, I have constituted a rules committee that will look into the formation of the ethics committee after having studied the models across other States.”

However, the Speaker and the House appear to have neglected the fact that an ethics committee has been constituted at the Legislative Council in the State. Constituted in 2006, the ethics committee for the Legislative Council comprises the Deputy Chairman of the House as its chairman and has seven nominated members cutting across political parties. “Unlike in the Assembly, where the term of each committee ends in a year, the ethics committee in the Council has a two-year term,” the source said.

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