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Mar 02, 2012 at 08:32am IST

Karnataka sleaze row: Before MLAs, media faces questioning

Bangalore: The two local news channels who caught three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs watching porn inside the Karnataka Assembly have come under scrutiny for filming the incident. Ironically, media had to face questioning even before the tainted ministers, Krishna Palemar, Lakshman Savadi and CC Patil, were questioned.

The legislature committee set up to inquire into it has begun its probe not by questioning the MLAs but instead the journalists who caught the episode on camera. During both Wednesday and Thursday's hearings, editors of two channels were summoned for questioning.

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The committee wanted to know if it was correct to film the pictures of the phones in the Assembly, if the Speaker's permission had been taken and if it was a breach of privilege.

Editor of Suvarna News Hameed Palya said, "They asked me details about the telecast and I have given all answers."

Interestingly, the seven-member committee, which is headed by MLAs close to the BS Yeddyurappa camp has now been reduced to just four, after three Opposition members boycotted it. But their idea of shooting the messenger hasn't gone without criticism.

Congress President G Parameshwara said, "The BJP is trying to bury the issue, they want to protect the MLAs. They wdon't want to disqualify them."

The local media too feels targeted. News Editor of Deccan Herald Chandan Nandy said, "In my view they've made a plan to restrict the media."

However, the main question remains as to who brought disrepute to the House - was it the media or the MLAs?

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