Karnataka MLAs irked with High Court’s circular barring them from sharing dais with judges

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Terming as “breach of privilege” Karnataka high court’s circular barring elected representatives from sharing dais with judges during events like inauguration of court buildings, several MLAs in state Assembly today demanded that the Court registrar be summoned.

They also urged that the Law Minister who is the creation of the House (Assembly) should not attend such events as it would be disrespect to the legislature.

Karnataka high court
The issue came up when JD(S) leader and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy made a mention about the circular, speaking on the Motion of Thanks to the Governor for address.

Several MLAs, sharing their experience at such judicial events, also said there was a practice where antecedents of politicians sharing the stage with judges were collected.

They said it was the legislators who work on land acquisition for court buildings, it is PWD of the government which constructs the building and all the facilities are provided by the public money, but they say legislators who are public representatives cannot share stage with them at such events, it was an insult to the legislature.

Law Minister should not go to such events, he was part of the legislature, they added.

Intervening, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra said, “high court circular speaks about MLAs and MPs being made to sit on the front row instead of dais at such events. I have met Chief Justice and have informed him about the sentiments expressed by members on this issue earlier.”

“It was a full board decision and it needs to be revised.

… there should not be any confrontation between legislature and judiciary, lets see what happens,” he said.

Responding to this, members, including C T Ravi (BJP) said “this amounts to breach of privilege, summon the registrar of the High Court.”

“Let the Chair give us the permission, we will move privilege against the registrar,” JD(S) leader Y S V Datta said.

Intervening again, Jayachandra said there should not be any confrontation between the legislature and judiciary and “it is our duty to provide them with basic amenities.”

Pointing out that repeated governments in Karnataka have shown utmost respect towards the judiciary, he said Karnataka stands second in providing basic amenities and infrastructure to courts nationally.

Noting that there was a protocol in place when government events are held, Jayachandra said, “I have brought it to the notice of the Chief Justice … let us see what will happen.”

As the minister counselled against any confrontation with the judiciary, some MLAs countered saying, “it is they (judiciary) who have started the issue.”

Questions were also raised whether every one in Judiciary was “pure”.

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