BENGALURU: Unflinching ethics, uprightness and honesty — these were the common words family, former colleagues and other well-wishers used to describe Justice Venkatachala, former judge of the Supreme Court of India, and former Lokayukta of Karnataka. He passed away on Wednesday after accidentally falling down while getting up in the morning.
He reportedly recovered from a brain hemorrhage only two months ago, and had for a long time followed a disciplined daily routine.
“He was a man of ethics and nobody was able to influence or bribe him. We all looked up to him. Government officials would shake when he entered the room. He had received several threats but never cowed down to them. They don’t make them like him anymore,” his niece Prabha told TNIE at his residence.
“He set an example and gave the message that with perseverance and honesty, you could reach heights. With his family, he was very affectionate and enquired about everyone. He followed a strict routine in his personal life, walking daily in Ramana Maharshi Park for decades, stopping only recently,” she said.
Vinod, an advocate at the Karnataka High Court who is also from his native village in Mulbagal, Kolar district, said, “He was very fond of people from the villages and wanted them to grow. He wanted villages to be developed, having come from one himself. He got so many children from his village educated, irrespective of whether they were related to him or not. He would support anyone who studied well and showed promise.”
Harish, another advocate from the same village, said, “Each year, he would donate socks, shoes, uniforms, books, toys and playthings to government schools, from nursery to high school level in five or six villages in Mulbagal.”
“He did all this without publicity. He would send a tailor to get the measurement of each child, to ensure they got the right fit,” Vinod added.