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Bring Justice Santosh Hegde back to office - protest M G statue, Saturday (26th June), 9 AM

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24 Jun 2010
Asia/Calcutta
Governance

Loksatta calls for a movement to bring Justice Santosh Hegde back to office: Organises protest at Mahatma Gandhi statue on Saturday (26th June) morning at 9 AM

The resignation of the Hon'ble Lokayukta Shri Santosh Hegde is a low point for governance in the state. His action, coming after many months of repeatedly urging the government to give his office more powers, and to take action against various offenders he has identified, is a blackmark against the political leadership of the BJP, as well as the Congress and JD(S), all of whom have paid only lip service to the Lokayukta's efforts. It is particularly unfortunate that the Government has failed to protect officials of the Lokayukta's office from motivated legal and other attacks.

Even at this late hour, the Government can take corrective action, and restore public confidence that the much-needed battle against corruption in public service will be taken up seriously. There are three steps the government needs to take seriously, and immediately.

  • Empower the Lokayukta with the necessary suo moto powers to initiate action against those found prima facie guilty of offences.
  • Decline to accept Justice Hegde's resignation, and urge him gracefully to once again take up the battle on behalf of the good citizens of this State.
  • Allow him to carry out the functions of his office, with the necessary support in manpower to be effective in curtailing corruption.


Loksatta Party urges people to stand up for their right to corruption-free government, and protest the government inaction on and disregard for the Lokayukta's efforts. Earlier this year, the party had launched an "Empower Lokayukta" signature campaign. This has received the support of over 3,000 citizens of Karnataka and it continues to gain in strength. Click http://www.loksattakarnataka.org/cpg.htm to support this campaign.

Bangalore Police have denied permission to hold a protest rally either Thursday or Friday. Loksatta therefore calls citizens of Karnataka to assemble on Saturday morning at 9 am at Mahatma Gandhi Statue on MG Road, in a show of support to this important public office, and respect for Justice Hegde's work.

Muralidhar Rao

 

Comments

murali772's picture

Lok Satta to take fight against Corruption to Delhi: Dr JP

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The Lok Satta Party will take the initiative to lead a delegation to the Prime Minister to demand a comprehensive amendment to the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Announcing this in a media statement, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said that monumental and growing corruption in India has made it the laughing stock in the comity of nations. India cannot accomplish its dream of becoming a super power by ignoring the omnipresent and omnipotent corruption.

The immediate provocation for the Lok Satta initiative is the resignation by Justice Santosh Hegde as Karnataka Lokaykta protesting against the Karnataka Government’s failure to honor its recommendations, reinstatement of officials suspended for corruption and harassment of Lokayukta employees for their role in ferreting out corruption.

Dr JP spoke to Justice Santosh Hegde to express his solidarity with him even as a Karnataka  Lok Satta Party delegation was to call on the Karnataka Governor to protest against its hostile attitude towards the highly respected institution.

“The resignation of Justice Hegde, a valiant fighter against corruption, eloquently testifies to Karnataka Government’s moral bankruptcy,” said Dr. JP. He recalled that Karnataka had been more fortunate than other States in that eminent jurists like Justice Venkatachala earlier and Justice Santosh Hegde until now, both Justices of the Supreme Court, had occupied the Lokayukta position. The previous Congress Government and the present BJP Government made the institution toothless by denying it powers, resources, and personnel. The situation in other States including Andhra Pradesh is much worse, said Dr. JP.

It is tragic that both the Union and State Governments are allowing corruption to flourish at a time the U. S. Government has successfully bent the Swiss banking giant to reveal the names of American tax dodgers who stashed away their black money with it.

The Lok Satta-led delegation to the Prime Minister will seek an amendment to the Prevention of Corruption Act providing for the creation of a Lokpal /Rashtriya Lokayukta headed by a jurist of the rank of a former Chief Justice of India. It should have jurisdiction over the Central Vigilance Commission, the Central Bureau of Investigation and similar agencies and be armed with powers and resources to inquire into corruption indulged in by all Central Government officials and elected people’s representatives barring the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, the Lok Sabha Speaker, and the higher judiciary. Chief Ministers will, however, come under its purview.

The amendment will also provide for the creation of an empowered Lokayukta at the State level with jurisdiction over all anti corruption agencies including the Anti Corruption Bureau and the Vigilance Commission and authority to go into cases of corruption against all State Government employees and elected people’s representatives other than the Chief Minister.

Both the Lokpal /Rashtriya Lokayukta at the national level and the Lokayukta at the State level will have powers to order seizure and confiscation of ill-gotten wealth pending an inquiry.

Dr. JP said that Justice Santosh Hegde’s resignation should spur all right-thinking people to take corrective action before it is too late. Corruption further impoverishes the already poor people and hurts economic growth and investments. As a signatory to the International Convention against Corruption, India cannot hold its high so long as it adopts an amoral attitude to corruption.

 

Muralidhar Rao
kbsyed61's picture

Tragic Indeed!

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Justice Hegde's resignation is tragic indeed. Nothing can be more unfortunate than this i.e. corrupt politicians and babus have once again  "CHECK-MATED" the people and their rule.

When parties depend upon generous money from looters and mafia's, they simply becomes one more party and whose sole objective is to win elections and earn more.

Means also needs to be noble to have the noble end. Illicit means will not produce noble ends.

murali772's picture

Citizens set 100 days deadline to ‘Empower Lokayukta’

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Dear friend,

Thank you for signing the Empower Lokayukta online petition.  

As we all know, Hon. Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde who was carrying forward his work with sincerity and dedication has resigned from his post of Lokayukta. He has cited the lack of powers given to Lokayukta and the inaction against offenders as the reason for his resignation.

A delegation of Loksatta Karnataka visited him yesterday morning and appealed to him to take back his resignation. He has refused to do so saying that even if he does, it will make no difference since the institution of Lokayukta itself currently does not have enough powers to make a difference.

Justice Santosh Hegde is one of the brightest sons of Karnataka. We should not let his sacrifice go in vain. Loksatta Karnataka is therefore launching a campaign to urge the Karnataka government to effectively empower the Lokayukta in the next 100 days.

On behalf of all citizens of Karnataka, we are launching the ‘We want Empowered Lokayukta’ campaign tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 9 am at Mahatma Gandhi Statue at M.G.Road. Several groups are joining this protest inclusing Coalition Against Corruption (CAC)

In this campaign, every day one letter will be sent to the Chief Minister urging him to introduce the necessary Amendments to the Lokayukta Act in the Karnataka Assembly.

The first of these letters will be signed by a large number of citizens from various organisations and civil society groups that would assemble tomorrow morning.

We invite you to come for the event and spread the message of ‘Empower Lokayukta’ to all citizens of Karnataka.

sincerely, Loksatta Karnataka
Phone: 767 655 7788
http://loksattakarnataka.org/

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

or else?

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So what happens if after 100 days lokayukta is not empowered?

srinu's picture

The OR ELSE question

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admittedly there is no good answer to that question.

Why?

may be because we are happy to ask questions and not create answers?

may be because we can't use Vote as the answer since there is no good candidates?

may be because we don't want to 'risk' being seen out there on the streets protesting and making our voice heard?

sorry for the digression but I hope the point is made.

some pictures from this event supported by many organizations

http://picasaweb.google.c...

idontspam's picture

Or else conundrum

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sorry for the digression but I hope the point is made.

No

may be because we are happy to ask questions and not create answers?

I dont have the answer to this one thats why I asked. Maybe you or somebody else does.

I was expecting - or else we will bring hell down at the center - or some such thing. I dont know how far Loksatta will go. This may be a proof point of its differentiation from the other parties.

Since Loksatta is a party, why not steal HDG's holier than thou thunder and take a proposition to the people on how they will empower Lokayukta?

sanjayv's picture

The OR ELSE will simply evolve

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IDS:

The implied threat is that the government will lose support, obviously.  If only 10 people show up to protest, it is not much of a protest. Govt will not be perturbed.  If a 1000 show up, maybe they will raise an eyebrow.  If a million show up, then there is a "threat", even though the government may be perfectly safe in the legislature.

When a large number of people politely demand - do this for me, there is an implied threat, even though thee may not be much of a threat intended.  

I think what Srinu meant is that instead of intellectualizing on what the "or else" means (which is a perfectly good question, BTW), maybe we should just get off our collective bottoms and register a protest with our feet and vocal chords and votes and so on;  the "or else" will evolve on its own.  But that only happens when people are sufficiently outraged or foolish (even wonder why students are at the vanguard of most protests?  I think they do not think much, they just go out there - that's why).  Once there is momentum of the masses, shit happens.  Some times it is good shit, other times, it is bad shit, but something happens nevertheless.

idontspam's picture

What will be different?

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IMO Corruption extends to beyond this govt. While all parties have conveniently criticized this govt no one has claimed they are any cleaner. Isnt that a stance that will rally people? Why will somebody support to bring this govt down and realize a different bunch of corrupt will take their place?

sanjayv's picture

That's where Lok Satta comes in!

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I think you are intellectualizing again!  The way I see it - our system is in deep shit.  Yes, everybody is corrupt.  One of the reasons is that there is no incentive to be honest or disincentive that prevents corruption. So let us empower Lokayukta (add some disincentives for people to not become corrupt). Let us show these politicians that we are watching and caring!

On the candidate front, Lok Satta has been offering good, honest candidates in elections. Turns out, our intellectuals either do not have names in the voter lists or they do not come out to vote.  I am saying this after seeing polling data from this BBMP elections where Lok Satta fielded some impressive candidates.

I maybe simplifying things too much, but when you are flat on the ground with your face buried in the mud, you have to first try to lift your head up and breath.  Then you can worry about standing up.

idontspam's picture

Lok Satta has been offering

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Lok Satta has been offering good, honest candidates in elections

Then they shouldnt be afraid to make a statement of guarantee that they will field corruption free candidates. 

idontspam's picture

More on suo moto powers for

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More on suo moto powers for Lokayukta here

sanjayv's picture

Guarantee of fielding corruption free candidates

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Then they shouldn't be afraid to make a statement of guarantee that they will field corruption free candidates

What makes you think that they would be afraid to make such a guarantee?

I would be afraid personally.  It is really difficult to be sure that a person is corruption free and will remain so.  One can only make an informed decision and hope that one is right! A promise that can be made is that there are no known cases of corruption at the time of fielding and that an elected party member who turns out to be corrupt will be disciplined / expelled as appropriate.

idontspam's picture

What makes you think that

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What makes you think that they would be afraid to make such a guarantee?

Because when you are fighting an ideal like corruption it takes guts to make the below admission you have made

It is really difficult to be sure that a person is corruption free and will remain so. 

Removing corruption is like removing cockroaches, you know you cant eliminate them but you wouldnt want them in your house. When they do come you get rid of them mercilessly. Thats the promise people want to see. How mercilessly you get rid of them and how your partys value system is built so you are able to ostracise them.

srinu's picture

(reposting - please ignore if

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(reposting - please ignore if duplicate)

IDS,

There is no incentive for anyone to be part of Loksatta unless they believe in what we stand for, corruption free citizen centric governance.  We think the fundamental issue is the spending in elections which begins the vicious cycle of corruption to recover and invest in future elections.  We think most people get into politics with genuinely good intentions but get caught up in this cycle and lose track of why they got into politics in the first place.  Other than JP (founder of Loksatta) I'm not aware of any candidate in the recent elections winning an election without buying votes with money, liquor or promises to give 'free stuff' or inciting divisive hatred.


All Loksatta candidates are required to take a public oath as such. Video of Loksatta candidates for BBMP taking public oath is here :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1D_x7RTLEo

We think that we need to have  systems in place to get rid of  elected representatives and even party leaders  in case they turn out to be corrupt. The party constitution contains such provisions and from a larger government scope, we think we need strong Anti Corruption Legislation (Lokayukta is one part of this ) - for too long, the corrupt got away by taking advantage of laws written pre-Independence and by using the babu-neta nexus.

My original comments about "OR ELSE" are meant to highlight the fact that the real OR ELSE option is to VOTE the corrupt out - but who will you bring in?  citizens with knowledge, experience and a sense of social responsibility, stay as far away from elections as possible.   And when we do have such candidates once in a while, they have little chance to win - unless the 'people' show up in large numbers to CAMPAIGN and VOTE them in.

IMHO, lot of us  say all the right things but hesitate to come forward to join a protest or file an RTI or take part of an election campaign. activism seems to be stop at keyboard.  With so many groups coming together, we had less than 150 people on Saturday.  And Bengaluru has 8 Million of us?

We are indeed planning to take this 100 day campaign forward and we look forward to see you in person. You could join us this Saturday 6:30AM at Krishna Rao Park, Basavana Gudi.

Sanjeev's picture

Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde withdraws resignation

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Advani appeals to Hegde to withdraw resignation

Senior BJP leader L K Advani today appealed to Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, who had stepped down from his post alleging corruption in the state, to withdraw his resignation.

"I appeal to him to kindly withdraw his resignation," Advani said in a statement.

Hegde had alleged that there was rampant corruption in the southern state, including in the government, which was making it difficult for him to function and submitted his resignation.
 

This event occured in the morning.  After this you can  see below withdraws

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/79017/advani-appeals-hegde-withdraw-resignation.html

Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde withdraws resignation

Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde has said that he won't resign from his post

Hegde had alleged that there was rampant corruption in the southern state, including in the government, which was making it difficult for him to function and submitted his resignation.

Senior BJP leader LK Advani had today appealed to Hegde, who had stepped down from his post alleging corruption in the state, to withdraw his resignation

http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report_breaking-news-karnataka-lokayukta-santosh-hegde-withdraws-resignation_1404794

This is secound time  CM  is facing this. In Novemeber, when Reddys wanted him to go out.  This shows how CM is working without any moral principals.

idontspam's picture

 This really puts the

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 This really puts the empowerment on the backburner now doesnt it? 

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