VIJAYAPURA : The state government should shutdown the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in order to strengthen the Karnataka Lokayukta, urged former chief justice, Santosh Hegde. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Hegde said, “After the establishment of ACB, the Lokayukta has been deprived of many powers, and with this the institution has lost its credibility in the state.
Despite agitations and writing a letter to the respective governments we have only received assurances, but no efforts have been taken to strengthen the Lokayukta,” he said.The former chief justice said that a few political leaders had questioned him on the efficiency of Lokayukta, to which he replied, “It is the only institution in the state, which fights against corruption, has initiated action against three former chief ministers on charges of corruption.”
He alleged that the ACB was being misused by political leaders and the institution itself was working under political pressure and without integrity. Commenting on the establishment of Lokpal, he said, “This is the result of more than three decades of agitation, which intensified only after activist Anna Hazare staged a hunger protest in New Delhi. Meanwhile, many questions are being raised on the establishment of Lokpal during the parliamentary elections. Irrespective of the timing, following the directions of Supreme Court, the government established Lokpal and it should not be influenced by the political parties,” stated Hegde.
Condemning Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s protest against the Income Tax Department, Hedge said, “The I-T department will do its duty without violating laws. It does not behove a chief minister to stage a protest and condemn the I-T raid. Instead, he should have taken the legal route in order to bring a stay order to the I-T raid,” asserted Hegde.Hegde urged the voters to choose their leaders wisely with exercising their franchise instead of voting blindly.