Bengaluru: Six Karnataka ministers have moved a Bengaluru court here seeking to restrain media organisations from publishing or airing any “defamatory or unauthenticated” material against them.
The development assumes significance given that it comes days after state minister Ramesh Jarkiholi at the centre of a ‘sex for jobs’ scam resigned after allegations surfaced against him that he had been demanding sexual favours from unidentified women in lieu of getting them jobs. Several Kannada television channels aired images and photos from a ‘sex CD’ that allegedly featured him and an unidentified woman. Jarkiholi was serving as the state’s water resources minister.
The six ministers of chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa-led government who moved the court Friday include labour minister Shivaram Hebbar; agriculture minister B.C. Patil; cooperative minister S. T. Somashekar; and health family welfare and medical education minister K. Sudhakar.
The two others are youth empowerment and sports minister K.C. Narayana Gowda; and urban development minister Bhyrathi Basavaraj.
After hearing their joint plea, the additional city civil sessions judge reserved his order which is expected to be delivered on Saturday.
The six ministers are among the 17 MLAs who had rebelled against the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, leading to its fall in July 2019 and paving way for the BJP to come to power.
Disqualified from their respective parties, Congress and JDS, the MLAs had subsequently joined the BJP, contested bypolls in December 2019 on BJP tickets and were made ministers after winning the polls.
Ramesh Jarkiholi, who recently resigned as a minister amid allegations of sexual harassment after the emergence of a sleaze CD, had also defected to the BJP along with 16 MLAs and had become a minister.
Confirming the ministers’ move to approach the court, family welfare and medical education Minister K. Sudhakar, in a series of tweets, said the ministers moved the court amid apprehensions of a political conspiracy being hatched to defame some “honestly working” ministers.
(With PTI inputs)