Santosh Hegde Backs Hiremath - The New Indian Express

Santosh Hegde Backs Hiremath

Published: 17th January 2014 10:36 AM

Last Updated: 17th January 2014 10:36 AM

Former Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde has supported anti-corruption activist S R Hiremath who is trying to prove corruption allegations raised against Ministers D K Shivakumar and R Roshan Baig.

“Who said this government is corruption-free?” Hegde asked while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a programme at Vikram Hospital here on Thursday. 

“After they came to power, they said they were different and that this government won’t indulge in any corruption like the previous government. They also said government will act against those who are facing corruption charges. This has not happened,” Hegde said after releasing a handbook on patient safety at the hospital.

“Hiremath is doing the right thing. They (Shivakumar and Baig) are now ministers. But if there is anything pending in courts against them,  the law should take its course,” he said.

Hegde said Lokayukta needs more “procedural” powers. He said the power to sanction permission to initiate criminal proceedings against corrupt officials should rest with the courts and not with officials.

 “What happens is, we trap the corrupt, catch them and take them to court. But to initiate criminal proceedings, we require sanction from the ir higher officials. This is very difficult. The government has not sanctioned criminal proceedings against the corrupt since 2-3 years in about 70 centres,” he said.

‘Keep it Up’

About more and more people becoming members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Santosh Hegde said, “It is good... Earlier, there were just one or two parties running governments in a democracy. AAP has outgrown them. They should continue to serve the people and strengthen democracy.”

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