Assembly erects firewall against Facebook
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On a day when the Kerala legislative Assembly created a milestone by launching webcasting of its proceedings, V T Balram, the young legislator who ventured to post a proposed private member bill on his Facebook wall, was pulled up by the Speaker.
Balram, while accepting the Speaker's ruling in good faith, however, felt that democratic institutions should be ready to embrace changes in technology. "Social networking has several good aspects. We should capitalise on those," he said without referring to the Speaker's ruling.
The Thrithala MLA had to delete his FB post on the bill that moots creation of an authority to protect nurses and paramedical staff working in private hospitals after Speaker G Karthikeyan censured him in strong language during Zero Hour in the Assembly. "It came to the notice of the chair that V T Balram has posted a private member bill on social networking sites and sought the views of the public. The member has served a notice but it is yet to come up for consideration of the committee on private members bill. The bill will be circulated among the members and published in the gazette only after the committee clearing it. It is an insult to the House that the member chose to seek public opinion before completing these procedures," he said.
Karthikeyan revealed that he didn't intend to take any disciplinary action against Balram as he is a new member and his act was unintentional. He also advised all new members to be more vigilant on the proceedings of the House. The Speaker also said that his office hadn't given permission for presenting the bill.
Balram withdrew his Facebook post about the bill immediately after the Speaker's ruling. "I fully accept the ruling of the Speaker. I should have been more careful,'' Balram told TOI. He clarified that he sought the permission of the legislative Assembly secretariat and not the office of the Speaker before posting the bill on Facebook.
Damn...the govt needs to update itself...