Andher Nagari:K’taka Lokayukta quits, cites apathy

K’taka Lokayukta quits, cites apathy


Bangalore: The most credible and respected institution in the state of Karnataka fell on Wednesday evening when Lokayukta, Justice N Santosh Hegde, resigned protesting against the state government’s apathy in tackling corruption. Unsurprisingly, as with most things in Karnataka, the role of the mining sector and mining lords had no small role to play in his decision. Adding to the drama, chief minister B

S Yeddyurappa virtually disappeared after the Lokayukta announced his resignation.
For the six crore Kannadigas, Hegde was a moral force that drove fear into the hearts of the corrupt, who operate with impunity and disregard the law. Under Hegde, an institution meant to nab corrupt officials had evolved.

He was seen by the common people as their saviour, as one who helped them in matters ranging from getting pension to securing school admissions.
Frustrated by his inability to bring to book the corrupt his institution had nabbed, unable to protect his officers from official vindictiveness, and faced with an apathetic government unwilling to fill vacancies like the Upa Lokayukta, a disgusted Hegde quit. He had 14 months left of his tenure. His resignation is effective August 30.

Said Hegde: ‘‘If I cannot protect an officer who was obeying me… then I should not be in a position where I give them directives.’’ These were his parting words after tendering a four-line resignation letter to governor H R Bhardwaj. In his 90-minute news conference, Hegde explained the sequences of events that led him to take the extreme step.

‘‘The decision was not taken at the spur of the moment. It is not an emotional outburst. For a long time, I suffered mentally. The government ignored and showed indifference towards Lokayukta institution,’’ he said.

Asked if he would reconsider if the government rectifies its mistakes, he said his decision is final; he is not in the habit of using a resignation letter as blackmail.