Facing opposition flak for not summarily disqualifying three former disgraced ministers over the porn row, Karnataka Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah today said a showcause notice was issued to the trio to ensure principles of natural justice and fair-play.
The "unfortunate" incident that took place during Assembly proceedings had hurt him too and he had even considered resigning the Speaker's post, Bopaiah said fending the criticism that he had not acted tough despite being the custodian of the House.
"It is an unfortunate incident. But nobody thinks about me. Naturally this kind of incidents hurt me too," he said sharing his anguish over the incident that has led to a national outrage and embarrassed the BJP government.
Defending his decision to issue showcause notices to G Laxman Savadi, C C Patil and Krishna Palemar, who quit as Ministers on Wednesday, Bopaiah said "I did not (disqualify them summarily) to ensure that the accused get principles of natural justice and fair play".
The Speaker has announced a House committee to probe the issue and suspended the three MLAs till the panel submitted its report on March 12.
The Opposition has insisted on their immediate disqualification as members of the Assembly.
Bopaiah said even the Supreme Court while dismissing his orders disqualifying 16 MLAs who had withdrawn support to the Yeddyurappa government in October 2010 had observed that principles of natural justice was not followed.
Replying to a question, Bopaiah said: "Anybody can file a criminal case against the three MLAs. I will not do it. Opposition party members were also present in the house. Let them do."
"I will examine it and take a decision," he said when asked about a petition filed by an advocate seeking his permission to prosecute the three former ministers.
Opposition Congress has been demanding that the Speaker, who is the custodian of the House, lodge a criminal complaint against the tainted MLAs.
When his attention was drawn to the refusal by Congress and JDS to nominate two members each to the proposed House committee, the Speaker said, "I will wait for their decision and take a final call."
Bopaiah said he realised that mobile phones could also be used for viewing videos only after the episode. "I only know how to receive the call and make calls. That's all."
Even as the act of the three BJP MLAs came as a shock, the Assembly is gearing up to distribute iPads to its 225 members with each unit costing about Rs 40,000.
"Since the Legislative Council members have already got it, we should also give it to our members. However, I have left the choice of the iPad brand to be purchased to the Assembly Secretariat. But iPads would not be allowed inside the House," he said.
The mobile phone on which the two former ministers watched the porn clips had not yet been seized, Bopaiah said.