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Santosh Hegde opposes political interference in appointment of Judges

Pointing out that there is no better system than the Collegium system, Mr. Hegde feared that political appointees will try to “interfere” in the appointments with an altogether different objective

January 24, 2023 08:43 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:18 am IST - MYSURU

Former Lokayukta Santosh Hegde speaking at Meet the Press programme organised by the Mysuru District Journalists Association (MDJA) in Mysuru on Tuesday, January 24.

Former Lokayukta Santosh Hegde speaking at Meet the Press programme organised by the Mysuru District Journalists Association (MDJA) in Mysuru on Tuesday, January 24. | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

Standing by the Collegium System of appointment of Judges, former Judge of Supreme Court Santosh Hegde said the efforts to nominate a representative from the government in the Collegium was not in the interest of the country’s judiciary.

Fielding queries during a ‘Meet the Press’ programme organised by Mysuru District Journalists’ Association (MDJA) in the city on Tuesday, January 24, Mr. Hegde, who is also a former Lokayukta, said a political representative in the Collegium can be used to “influence” decisions. “It is not in the interest of the judiciary”, he said.

He was responding to a query on the Centre seeking the presence of a nominee of the Union government in the Supreme Court collegium and State representative in each of the High Court collegiums.

He described the efforts to seek a political appointee in the collegium as an attempt to control the judicial system. Pointing out that there is no better system than the Collegium system, Mr. Hegde feared that political appointees will try to “interfere” in the appointments with an altogether different objective.

“Correct appointments can be made only through judiciary. If there is outside presence, political interference will happen,” he said.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Mr. Hegde expressed concern over the impunity with which religious and linguistic passions are whipped up to win elections despite guidelines against such practices in the Constitution and Court rulings.

Pointing out that religion was a dangerous path to tread upon in electoral politics, Mr. Hedge felt that efforts were needed to ensure peaceful co-existence in the society so that all religions are respected.

He also regretted that the development and welfare issues are given a go-by in the mad race by political parties to grab power by whatever means that come their way.

Mr. Hegde also said that he was able to see a lot of injustice in the society when he worked as a Lokayukta.

Though people, who do wrong should be boycotted, Mr. Hegde lamented that people coming out on bail from the court are garlanded and hailed with slogans in public. “What sort of a message are we sending to the youth?”, he enquired before wondering whether honesty does not have any value in the present-day society.

Even though the country has seen a lot of development over the last few years, Mr. Hegde felt that the greed among people has also increased.

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