Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri has issued a notification banning entry of journalists in the Legislators House. The Legislators House is located near the Vidhan Soudha, the state legislative assembly. "Electronic media and print media cannot enter the Legislators House any time," the notification issued by the Speaker's office read.
The notification which was issued on February 18 said, "The legislators come to Legislators House from their constituencies during the assembly session. It is their private time when they stay there. When journalists come to Legislators House to meet them, it's an invasion of their privacy."
"Arrangements will be made for journalists to speak to MLAs outside the gate. No journalist or camera person will be allowed inside the gate," the notification added.
During the Karnataka assembly session in October last year, Kageri had imposed restrictions on camera persons as well as on electronic and print media personal from covering the proceedings. Instead, Doordarshan provided a live feed of the assembly proceedings to private TV channels. The move drew criticism from various quarters, with the Congress and JD(S) terming it as "fatal" for democracy.
Journalists and camera persons even staged a demonstration condemning the Speaker's decision to bar media from telecasting House proceedings. Following criticism over the move, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had assured that he will speak to the Speaker and try to convince him to roll back the ban.
(with agencies input)