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K'taka minister: It wasn't a porn clip in the actual sense

Last updated on: February 8, 2012 20:31 IST

K'taka minister: It wasn't a porn clip in the actual sense

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru

Vicky Nanjappa talks to Karnataka minister for cooperation Lakshman Savadi, who resigned on Wednesday, after he was 'caught' viewing an alleged pornographic clip on a mobile phone during state assembly proceedings.

Although the three Karnataka ministers alleged to be involved in this incident have resigned, the opposition has decided not to let the issue go so easily.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, apart from asking the ministers to resign, has also gone a step ahead and constituted a committee to inquire into the issue. The ministers have been served notices and have been asked to reply with their version of the incident.

The three ministers, however, deny any wrongdoing and say that their resignations were not forced by the party, but the action was suo motu. The opposition however continued to create a ruckus over the issue and demanded that the resignation as ministers was not sufficient, but they should quit as members of the legislative assembly as well.

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Image: The ministers were filmed watching porn in the assembly


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I have done no wrong: Savadi

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When contacted, Savadi said that he had done no wrong. He had said that there was no question of him resigning his assembly seat.

When asked, he said that that there was no pressure on him or his colleagues to resign.

"I have committed no illegality and hence we will continue as members of the house. We only quit our posts as ministers to avoid any sort of embarrassment to the party and the government in Karnataka. We thought it was essential that the dignity of the house had to be upheld and hence decided to take this step." He said.

When asked about the clip, he said it was not a porn clip in the actual sense. 

"The clip was forwarded by my colleague (ports minister) Krishna Palemar. It was about a woman who was dancing in Iran and was later raped by four men," he said.

"Palemar told me that such things do happen abroad and we needed to know about it," he added.

"Moreover it had gained relevance as there is a major debate on in Karnataka regarding a rave party which took place in Malpe. There is a controversy on regarding this issue and hence I thought I needed to watch this clip," he said.

"I will maintain this, as this is the truth. I do not believe that we have in any way lowered the dignity of the house. We will continue as MLAs and face any inquiry, and also answer the same," he added.

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Image: Former minister for cooperation Lakshman Savadi


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The legal test

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In this case, the role of the Speaker would come into play as it is something that happened on the floor of the house. Viewing a porn clip is not an offence according to the law.

However, the bigger offence is committed as it has been viewed on the floor of the house and this amounts to violation of code of conduct in the assembly. The police too cannot initiate an independent investigation on the matter suo motu.

They would need a specific complaint apart a go ahead from the Speaker, as the members are answerable to him.

However, the bigger trouble could be for Palemar as he has been accused of sending that clip to Savadi which C C Patil also watched. Under the law it amounts to illegal transmission of obscene material, and could invite imprisonment up to three years and also a fine of Rs 5 lakh.

Another issue that the three MLAs could face is the misuse of a government gadget. If it is ascertained that the mobile phone was issued to them by the government, then they could face further disciplinary action.

If the authorities go by the book, then the MLAs may face charges of misuse of government property, transmission of obscene material and also lowering the dignity of the house. If the committee finds them guilty, then they could either be suspended or debarred from the house.


Image: Former minister for women and child development C C Patil

Tags: Savadi , Palemar

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