Panel implicates Savadi in porngate

The House Committee constituted to probe the porngate episode in the State Assembly on February 7, submitted a 38-page report to Speaker K G Bopaiah on Monday evening, implicating former minister Lakshman Savadi for violating the House norms.

Committee chairperson Srishailappa Bidarur and members Nehru Olekar, S R Vishwanath and Suresh Gowda, all BJP MLAs, together submitted their report to the Speaker, a day before they were scheduled to. The Opposition parties had refused to be part of the panel.
Two other former ministers, Krishna Palemar and C C Patil, have been let off the hook, with the panel citing lack of sufficient evidence against them. While the cellphone used by Savadi is said to belong to Palemar, Patil, who was seated next to Savadi on the day the incident happened, was seen peering into the mobile screen.

The panel has left it to the Speaker to decide the course of action against Savadi. It has suggested that the former minister should be warned.

The committee has recommended a ban on the use of cellphones inside the House. The panel is also learnt to have opined that the media had done no wrong by reporting the entire episode, though a few media organisations had “exaggerated” it. The panel also suggested that the media seek the Speaker’s permission to report incidents not related to the House proceedings.

Bidarur later told reporters that though it was only the BJP MLAs who had conducted the inquiry, the House Committee’s report had been “impartial”.

“We conducted a detailed inquiry and we have handled the entire matter very responsibly. Any decision that has to be taken is definitely challenging... So was the probe,” he added. The report is expected to be tabled in the upcoming budget session.

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