Proposed Lokayukta law will weaken institution, says Hegde

May 18, 2014 01:59 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 06:53 pm IST - Bangalore:

The former Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde has described the proposed Karnataka Lokayukta Bill, 2014 as “a fraud being played on the people and an attempt at neutralising the powers of the existing Lokayukta.”

Delivering a lecture on ‘Fall in moral values in life and its effect on life’ at the Indian Institute of Science Alumni Association here on Saturday, he said the proposed new Bill, in line with the Lokpal Act, 2013, would mean setting up of an institution with nine members on its panel “which will essentially be a post-retirement scheme for bureaucrats.”

He said that while the present legislation allows the Lokayukta to initiate suo motu investigation against a Chief Minister, the new structure under the new legislation, if passed, would require six out of the nine members to endorse initiation of the process. He said that the creation of a parallel body called the State Vigilance Commission would also take away the powers of the Lokayukta.

Mr. Hegde said that it would also deprive the Lokayukta of a very important function as an office that also provides grievance redressal. The Lokayukta in its current form was meant to oversee good governance, which includes taking up cases of bureaucratic lapses which constitute a big chunk of the work, he said. “It has been taken away because it is against the bureaucrats,” he added.

He said that he had handled 24,000 grievance redressal cases while he was the Lokayukta.

Regretting the fall in moral standards in all walks of life, he said there was a growing a tendency to brush aside and put up with corrupt practices. “There is no social boycott of the corrupt,” he said, and added that his hope lay with the youth of the country. He added that he had no faith in any of the present-day politicians.

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