Bangalore, Dec 22 : Former Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde today accused the state government of trying to damage the institution of Lokayukta and “kill” high-profile corruption cases.
A “headless” Lokayukta in Karnataka is “benefiting” the Government and the stand-off between it and the Governor on the issue of new head to the anti-corruption agency is hurting the organisation very much, Hegde told PTI here.
He blasted Lokayukta Police for filing a ‘B' report to the Court stating that there were no material to substantiate allegations of misuse of office by Home and Transport Minister R Ashoka in buying and getting 23 acres and 12 guntas (one acre is 40 guntas) of land denotified in Bangalore.
Lokayukta police reported that the alleged action of Ashoka did not attract provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Referring to the case, Hegde, a key member of Team Anna, noted that after denotification of land which was acquired and acquisition is final, original owner who lost the site following the acquisition, enters into agreement with the Minister.
“Then you denotify and give it the Minister. How can it be done? Connected matters are there; one uniform decision had to be taken. They will keep filing the ‘B' reports. It will kill other (similar) cases,” he said referring to cases against some Ministers and MLAs.”
“This is what democracy has come down to.It has become a fiefdom of some people. What is supposed to be Government of the people, by the people and for the people, has become government for some, by some and for some, particularly elected representatives,” Hegde said.
The former Supreme Court judge also pointed that the post of the Special Public Prosecutor at Lokayukta is vacant after I S Pramod Chandra's term ended on December 19.
“Could it not have been extended till somebody else is appointed?.” There are cases which need to be studied carefully, he said.
The government is trying to “damage” the Lokayukta institution as much as possible “before somebody else comes,” he said.
The Government recommended the name of Justice S R Bannurmath, a former Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, to head Lokayukta, but the Governor told it to rethink following allegations against him and come out with some other names for the post.
But the Government has said it does not have any documents suggesting Bannurmath's wrongdoing, adding, it would act only when the Governor rejects Bannurmath's name.