Kundapur, July 9, 2011: Justice N. Santhosh Hegde sarcastically commented that politicians have been visiting temples not to pray for guidance to discharge their duties in a responsible manner, but to make the gods partners in their corrupt activities. He made another sarcastic comment that these politicians might now go beneath the temples to pray because immense wealth is believed to be hidden under the temples.
Justice Hegde was responding to queries by students at an interactive programme held at Bhandarkars Arts and Science College in Kundapur on July 8 Friday on the subjects of corruption and the Lokpal Bill.
Further voicing his opinions about the matter, he said that politicians are not only corrupt, but also egoistic. The fact that an MP, who has just participated in a meeting of civil society representatives to discuss the Lokpal Bill, questions how people who have never won an election can question elected representatives proves the haughtiness of politicians, he said.
Stating that corruption will continue as long as people are greedy, he expressed his concern regarding the ever-widening gap between the poor and the rich in India.
Giving examples of recent happenings in assembly sessions and the Parliament, he said that the legislative system has stooped to extremely low levels after independence. Stating that previous governments have failed to give in to demands for the Lokpal Bill, he said that the current government is unwilling to hold discussions on the draft bill.
He said that the parliament has passed 17 bills without proper discussion on Dec 23, 2008, adding that one of these was a bill that withdrew the power of subjecting corrupt public servants to inquiry and punish them.
He said that the civil society representatives and the government have differences of opinion regarding the exclusion of the PM and the judiciary from the purview of the bill. While the civil society wants to bring both within the jurisdiction of the Lokpal, the government is unwilling to do so, he added.
Stating that the Lokayukta does not intend to spare any politician, he lamented that the Lokayukta only has the power to investigate, not to punish the guilty.