Karnataka Minister defends injunction against defamatory

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content against him, others Bengaluru, Mar 10 (PTI) Karnataka Minister S T Somashekar on Wednesday said the six ministers who went to a civil court seeking injunction against airing any defamatory content in the media had information that they would be targeted around the assembly session.

Days after Ramesh Jarkiholi had to step down as Water Resources Minister following sex-for-job allegations and his purported videos went viral, the ministers went to court.

Those who sought injunction were Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar, Agriculture Minister BC Patil, Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar, Health, Family Welfare and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar, Youth Empowerment and Sports Minister K C Narayana Gowda and Urban Development Minister Byrathi Basavaraj.

'We had information that the Bombay Team will be targeted during the assembly session. So we went to court against any defamatory material but we were projected as if we are the culprits.Are we culprits?' Somashekar asked during a press conference.

By referring to the 'Bombay Team', Somashekar was referring to those Congress and JD(S) MLAs who had rebelled against the coalition government of Congress and JD(S) led by H D Kumaraswamy in June 2019, leading to its collapse.

Since many of them had camped in Mumbai defying their party's high command's instruction, Congress leaders called them Bombay Team or Bombay Boys.

After the fall of the government, 16 of them joined the BJP, some of them contested the assembly bypolls in December 2019 and became ministers too.

Defending moving the court, the minister said going to court was necessary after the Ramesh Jarkiholi episode.

'You know about the Ramesh Jarkiholi case and how the case was withdrawn days after filing the complaint. Is it possible to return his honour after defamation? So it became imperative to go to the court,' he explained.

The Congress had said those who brought injunction against airing or publishing any gross content, which could defame them, have no right to remain in power as there are materials which they are scared of. PTI GMS BN BN