A cross section of anti-corruption activists met Lokayukta Y. Bhaskar Rao on Thursday and expressed their unhappiness over the manner in which the institution is being handled after the former Lokyukta N. Santosh Hegde demitted office in August 2011.
The activists, under the banner of Jatyatheetha Nagarika Vedike, submitted a memorandum to Mr. Rao saying the common man has become “very upset” with the Lokayukta and turned “cynical”.
The memorandum said the institution had failed not only to “arrest the increase in corruption” but also infuse a “sense of confidence among the public”.
Those who formed the delegation that submitted the memorandum included RTI activists such as Wing Commander G.B. Athri (retired), B.M. Shivkumar, Jayakumar Hiremath and Pramod Halakatti who have played a key role in exposing powerful politicians and bureaucrats in the last few years.
One of the prime demands of the activists is that Mr. Rao declares his assets and liabilities on the institution’s website along with other personal details — something Mr. Hegde had made mandatory for all Lokayukta officials, including himself. “Transparency is the key to success of the Lokayukta,” the memorandum said.
The activists also demanded that the head of the institution be “available to the public at all times like his predecessors, both in person and on phone.”
They also complained that the Lokayukta was withholding information sought under the RTI Act, particularly in cases where the information sought pertained to the asset declarations submitted to the Lokayukta by elected representatives.
They argued, through the memorandum, that such a release of information would at least allow the public to scrutinise the affidavits and spot discrepancies and irregularities.
The activists also demanded that the Lokayukta desist appointing key officers on contract basis.
Meanwhile, responding to a report that appeared in The Hindu and in a Kannada daily on Thursday, Mr. Rao said there were no corruption allegations against Lokayukta Registrar B. Yoginath.