Kalaburagi: Although he singled out former CM Siddaramaiah for weakening the Lokayukta by establishing the Anti-Corruption Bureau during his tenure, former Lokayukta, Justice Santosh Hegde on Tuesday remarked that no party wanted a strong Lokayukta as this went against their interests
Participating in a debate on "Lokayukta and the present day system,", he said, " In 2013 Siddaramaiah took out a padayatra from Bengaluru to Ballari against illegal mining and promised a Lokayukta inquiry if he came to power. But in 2016, without any debate, he established the ACB."
Recalling that the 2018 Assembly election manifestos of the Congress, BJP and JD(S) had promised to strengthen the the Lokayukta, he regretted that even seven months after formation of the coalition government, there was no sign of this happening. "There is a need for a strong Lokayukta for curbing maladministration. People must launch a movement for re-establishing it," he emphasised.
Blaming the degeneration of the value system for rampant corruption in society today, Justice Hegde, who remains as passionate about the subject at 79 as he was decades ago, said he did not think things would change during his lifetime.
" In the past society would boycott those who went to jail, but they are being elected to high office today and even the courts are not conducting themselves properly. In the case of Lalu Prasad Yadav, the fodder case was registered in 1996, but he was sentenced in 2016. He has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court and it may not give its verdict during his lifetime," he noted sadly.
Agreeing that there was no security for honest officers, he said, "If officers are honest they are shifted every three months. Take the example of late IPS officer, Madhukar Shetty. He did glorious work in the Lokayukta and also as Chickamagalur SP. But he was appointed an aide-de-camp to the Governor to humiliate him."