Bangalore, August 4;Former chairman of the task force for recovery of public lands, V Balasubramanian, on Sunday indicated that he would take legal action against any move to summon him before the Privileges Committee of the State legislature.
“I fully respect the parliamentary privileges accorded by our Constitution and I have equal belief in the protective powers of our courts to check the abuse of parliamentary privileges in deserving instances. I have been legally advised that any act of summoning me on the interview that was published would be an abuse of the parliamentary privileges and that a writ will lie to restrain such abuse. I am hopeful that there will not be an occasion for invoking the jurisdiction of our writ courts,” the former bureaucrat said in a statement released to the media.
Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa recently referred to the privileges committee a breach of privilege motion against Balasubramanian, moved by senior Congress leader Ramesh Kumar. The motion referred to a recent interview given by the former bureaucrat to a newspaper where he allegedly accused Assembly members of encroaching forest land. Members of all parties had supported the motion.
Balasubramanian said that he had re-stated what had already been published in his various reports submitted to the government on encroachment of its lands across the State.
“I fail to understand how a recital of what is contained in public records which were published two years ago would amount to lowering the dignity of any specific member of the legislature,” he stated.
He said his desire to uphold the dignity of the legislature is evidenced by his recommendation as the task force chairman that a permanent legislature committee should be constituted to control the large-scale land grabbing in Karnataka.
Over 11 lakh acres of government land valued approximately at Rs 1.95 lakh crore are under encroachment. It is more than the estimated value of 2G scam, commonwealth scam and coal scam all put together. Nearly 96,000 acres of government land valued approximatedly at Rs one lakh crore are with the land grabbers in the Bangalore metropolitan region alone.
“As everyone would know, land grabbing on such a massive scale cannot be done without the collusion of officials, powerful leaders, the land mafia and landlords,” he said.
“Nobody is expected to talk vaguely or dispassionately about corruption in public life.
After all, I was speaking about the mammoth problem of land-grabbing which robs the future generation of public land and commons, which belong to them. I was not delivering a lecture on botany or chemistry,” he said.