Justice Santosh Hegde - the name is synonymous to honesty, sincerity, integrity, hard work and perseverance. When this former Supreme Court Judge was appointed the Lokayukta of Karnataka on August 3, 2006, many had raised apprehensions. Will the soft spoken man be able to do justice to his new role which he would be taking charge from Justice Venkatachala known for his fiery remarks ? Well, Justice Hegde proved his detractors wrong through his highly efficient style of functioning. Today after over three years as the Lokayukta of Karnataka, his functioning has been widely acclaimed and he is hailed as one of the best Lokayuktas of the state, even when the government is dilly dallying to grant suo moto powers to the Lokayukta.
Born on June 16, 1940 in Nitte village of Karkala in Udupi district, he is the son of former Supreme Court judge Late K S Hegde and Late Meenakshi Hegde and brother of N Vinay Hegde, the Chancellor of Nitte University. After his early education at St Aloysius School in Mangalore and Madras Christian College, Hegde completed his BSc from Central College, Bangalore and went on to have a degree in Law from Government Law College, Bangalore, now known as University Law College. Justice Santhosh Hegde was a talented sportsman throughout his school and university career and even represented his school team in various games including the inter-state cricket tournament. He also represented the State of Mysore and University of Mysore in hockey.
After completing apprenticeship training, he enrolled as an advocate in January 1966. He was appointed as the Advocate General of Karnataka in February 1984 and held that position till August 1988. He worked as additional Solicitor General of India from December 1989 to November 1990. He was re-appointed as the Solicitor General of India in April 1998 and was appointed as a Supreme Court Judge in January 1999, a position which he held till June 2005.
A highly disciplined man, Justice Hegde, as the Lokayukta of Karnataka, has proved a nightmare to the corrupt officials and bureaucrats. Determined to root out corruption from the society, he strongly believes that this can be achieved if the younger generation makes up its mind. He has been oft and again giving a clarion call to the students to raise voice against corruption. Partly blaming the common man for the spurt in corruption cases, Justice Hegde strongly feels that the menace can be eradicated when people stop bribing the officials.
During his tenure, several skeletons have rolled down the cupboards of various government departments in various parts of the state and several officers trapped for possessing disproportionate wealth. But the dangerous tentacles of this evil called corruption is continuing to spread far and wide and it is only determined efforts on the part of the society that can crack down this menace.
Justice Santosh Hegde who is also involved in various other organisations, has been befittingly conferred with several awards in recognition of his yeoman service.The Mangalore University has conferred on him an Honorary Doctorate of Law. He has also won the Vandana Award.
Happily married to Sharada Hegde, Justice Hegde believes in simple living. A music lover he also enjoys listening to ghazals and Hindi music during his leisure.
Justice Hegde indeed has emerged as the illustrious son of his illustrious father.
Bangalore, Jun 23 : Justice N. Santosh Hegde, Lokayukta of Karnataka has resigned on june 23, 2010. Addressing a press conference he said "I don’t want to be useless sitting in a position. It is not enough if I catch people. I need powers to bring cases to logical conclusion,"
Justice Hedge said he could have continued in the post enjoying the perks like car with red beacon but he was only following his father’s advice that "don’t stay in a place where you are made to feel you are unwanted".
Justice Hegde was appointed as Karnataka Lokayukta on August 3, 2006 for a term of five years and still had 14 months left in his tenure. He was given a public service award from Transparency International for his work.