The increasing number of cases against them before the Lokayukta seems to has become a cause of worry for our MLAs. This was evident when the Assembly members expressed serious concern over the alleged misuse of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
It all started with independent MLA Goolihatti Shekhar proposing to move a private Bill seeking an amendment to the Karnataka Lokayukta Act. The Bill sought to make it mandatory for the Lokayukta to take prior permission of the Speaker before registering an FIR against an MLA on a private complaint.
Goolihatti also sought an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to enable punishment to the complainant if his charges were proved wrong.
However, Speaker KG Bopaiah raised a technical issue stating that a seven-day notice should be given before moving a private Bill in the Assembly.
Intervening in the matter, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar appreciated Goolihatti’s intentions, but said the time was not right. Passing such a Bill on the last day of the session would send a wrong signal, especially when people’s perception about their representatives is not that good, Suresh Kumar said.
He also cited the High Court’s recent verdict in the case of Chincholi MLA Baburao Chinchanasur where it held that the Speaker’s prior permission was a must for any agency to register a case against an MLA.
“The High Court is in line with our wish. The verdict will become the law of the land. So there is no need to pass such a Bill,” he said, requesting Goolihatti to withdraw the Bill.
Deputy Leader of Opposition TB Jayachandra also expressed concern over the growing tendency of using RTI as a tool to defame public servants. Goolihatti echoed similar views before he withdrew the Bill.