Weeks after three BJP MLAs were caught watching pornography in the Karnataka assembly, two BJP legislators in Gujarat face accusations of following them. On Wednesday, when Gujarat house was carrying out proceedings BJP MLAs Shankar Chaudhury and Jetha Bharwad were accused of watching obscene video clips on an i-pad. They were accused by Janak Dave, journalist of a local newspaper.
Journalist Janak Dave reported to Gujarat Speaker Ganpat Vasava's office that Chaudhury and Bharwad watched obscene clips in the House. Later it resulted in uproar in the state assembly as the news spread in the House. The Speaker also asked the Vidhan Sabha Secretary to seize Chaudhury's i-Pad and to send it to the Forensic Science Laboratory for investigation. Shankar Chaudhary denied any wrongdoing and alleged it was a conspiracy to malign him and his party.
On this, I will like to pinch Members of Legislative Assembly of States (Vidhan Sabhas). There are Rules which are to be observed by members in the House. Following are rules which are to be observed by people’s representatives of Lok Sabha.
Rules to be observed by members in House....
349. Whilst the House is sitting, a member-
(i) shall not read any book, newspaper or letter except in connection with the business of the House;
(ii) shall not interrupt any member while speaking by disorderly expression or noises or in any other disorderly manner;………….
(xxii) shall not bring or play cassette or tape recorder in the House; and
(xxiii) shall avoid talking or laughing in Lobby loud enough to be heard in the House.]
And there is procedure for withdrawal or suspension of the member of the House. If Speaker has not done accordingly then there is fault on duties of the Speaker.
Question is not whether they were watching obscene material? Question is how members are allowed to watch I-pad pictures or videos which are not related to house proceedings?
This shows the respect they had not kept for the House. And hence they are liable for suspension. Instead of taking strong action against them, Speaker spoke of privileges of the members which clearly show that Speaker is irresponsible in carrying out duties and he himself should step down.
Well, coming to watching porn videos, Consumption of pornography is no offence. Consumption of pornography on a personal device is frowned upon by neither the Victorian-vintage Indian Penal Code (IPC) nor the 21st Century legislation on Information Technology (IT). All that the law forbids is its publication or transmission. The person watching should not share the porn material to others. Section 67 takes the action. Section 67 of the IT Act imposes a penalty of imprisonment up to three years for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form.
My message to House members is that they cannot watch any clip in the House which is not related to the House proceedings. And if they want to watch porn then they should go to their respective residential flats or houses to watch porn in secret. Further, my message is observe rules of the House strictly or else get suspended from the House.