Special panel to look into Dec 15 K'taka Council ruckus

Special panel to look into December 15 Karnataka Council ruckus

Legislative Council deputy chairperson S L Dharme Gowda was heckled during the ruckus in the House on December 15.DH File Photo

A fortnight after a ruckus erupted over a no-trust motion against Legislative Council chairperson K Pratapachandra Shetty, a special House committee has now been constituted to inquire into the incident.

This constitution of the committee coincides with the untimely death of Council deputy chairperson S L Dharme Gowda, who was heckled during December 15 the ruckus in the House.

The committee, constituted by Shetty, includes members from all three political parties. It will be headed by senior JD(S) MLC Marithibbe Gowda. The other members include Congress leaders B K Hariprasad and R B Thimmapur apart from BJP leaders H Vishwanath and S V Sankanur. 

Speaking to DH, Shetty said, “The special committee had to be constituted to inquire into the role of everyone present in the House that day, including officials and the marshals. The committee will also examine the role of the government in the incident. It will be given 20 days’ time to submit a report. The report will be submitted to the House.”

On how the members were chosen, Shetty said he ensured that there was an equitable representation of all parties and only members who were not involved in the ruckus were chosen. He had to take the decision independently as seeking recommendations from political parties would be counter-productive to the inquiry, he added. 

Expressing regret over the incident, Shetty further said there were procedures to address any lapses on part of the chairperson. However, those who were supposed to protect the sanctity of the House were involved in the incident, he said. 

On December 15, a ruckus erupted in the Council over a no-trust motion against Shetty. The ruling party, which claimed that Shetty could not occupy his designated seat owing to the no-trust motion pending against him, reportedly made Deputy Chairperson Dharme Gowda take the seat. This ‘coup’ took place even before Shetty could enter the House and even as the quorum bell was still ringing. Angered by this, an irate group of Congress MLCs physically dragged Gowda from the chairperson’s seat, leading to unprecedented scenes of brawls.