Bengaluru

Santosh Hegde resigns as Karnataka Lokayukta

Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde speaks to the media outside the Raj Bhavan after submitting his resignition in Bangalore on Wednesday. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

Karnataka Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde resigned from the post on Wednesday in “disgust” against the “non-cooperation” by the State Government in his crusade against corruption.

Mr. Hegde met Governor H.R. Bhardwaj and handed over his resignation, which will come into effect on August 31, 2010, at the Raj Bhavan on Wednesday evening.

Explaining the reasons for staying on till August 31, the Lokayukta said he had to complete his unfinished work, including submitting a report on wall collapse that killed a teenager. Moreover, with the Upalokayukta's post still vacant, his resignation would render the institution of Lokayukta a nonentity. He hoped that the Government would fill the vacancy by then.

Mr. Hegde's resignation, which is apparently the first time in the country that a Lokayukta has quit after blaming the Government for its failure to prevent corruption in public administration, comes on the eve of the second anniversary celebrations planned by the Yeddyurappa Government.

Mr. Hegde took over as Lokayukta on August 3, 2006 and his five-year term was to end in 2011.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Hegde cited three reasons for his resignation: non-appointment of the Upalokayukta for the past six months because of which thousands of complaints had piled up; posting of officers suspended following the Lokayukta's recommendation to the same post after a few months; and a recent recommendation made to the Chief Secretary by a Minister to suspend the Deputy Conservator of Forests, Karwar, who, on the directions of the Lokayukta, had seized eight lakh tonnes of iron ore illegally transported to Belekeri port.

Mr. Hegde said the official who had carried out a commendable investigation in the illegal transport of iron ore to the Belekeri port had brought to Lokayukta's notice the Minister's recommendation and sought his help. “‘But I told him that I can only provide legal advice if he is suspended.”

“I do not know whether the Government has suspended the officer. But this is not the way a Minister should act. Officers will lose their morale if Ministers behave in such a fashion. I thought over all these developments that happened over the past couple of months and decided that I should not continue in the post if I am unable to protect an officer who discharges his duty on my instructions, and also when I am not in a position to perform not because of my inability but due to non-cooperation by the Government,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 11:37:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Santosh-Hegde-resigns-as-Karnataka-Lokayukta/article16265638.ece

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