Thursday, June 24, 2010

Former Supreme Court Judge gives up his anti corruption crusade

Karnataka's top crusader quits
NDTV Correspondent, Updated: June 23, 2010 21:15 IST

Bangalore: Karnataka's top anti-corruption authority has resigned, more than a year before his term ends. Former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde took on the job of Lokayukta in August 2006.

He took on corrupt officers, conducted raids and booked even a ruling party BJP MLA Sampangi for taking bribes. But those, his team raided, were often reinstated in the same post from which they were suspended without consulting him and they were sometimes even rewarded.

"There are many reasons for my resignation, the government has shown deliberate indifference to the functioning of this institution," said Santosh Hegde, Karnataka Lokayukta.

Justice Santosh Hegde took on the powerful Bellary mining lobby, stating in his report last year, that crores of rupees were siphoned away from the state's exchequer through illegal mining.

Justice Hegde is a household name in Karnataka having taken a tough stance against the corrupt with his raids and reports; but those, he and his team, caught red-handed continue to walk free. His resignation citing helplessness is however bound to damage the image of Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, whose BJP government is all set to celebrate its two years in office.

"Today is the blackest day in the history of Karnataka. Justice Santosh Hegde is one of the most honest and committed people we have," said Deve Gowda, JD-S president.

In the battle against corruption, the high office of the Lokayukta has for now lost a crusading soldier.
Story first published: June 23, 2010 19:58 IST
Karnataka's top crusader quits: Former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde took on the job of Lokayukta

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