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Address all issues, says Justice Hegde

Staff Correspondent

Udupi: Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde said on Monday that an effective Lokpal could emerge if the Union government agreed to all the issues or points raised by members of the civil society led by social activist Anna Hazare.

He told journalists here that there were disagreements between the government and the civil society on six issues, including bringing the Prime Minister under the Lokpal.

“The government wants any wrongdoing by the Prime Minister to be investigated after he/she demits office. Laws apply equally to all.

“But when a Prime Minister becomes a former Prime Minister, the scam too could become a former scam. Then again, a Prime Minister may not indulge in corruption, but he may shield those indulging in corruption,” he said.

A Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the States were necessary. The Lokpal Bill had been hanging fire for 45 years. If the demands of the civil society on the Lokpal Bill were not met, Mr. Hazare should go on a nationwide tour instead of undertaking another fast from August 16. “Civil society will have to go to the people if its demands are not met,” he said.

On the proposed oath-taking by Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and the former Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy, at Dharmasthala on June 27, Mr. Hegde said that instead of using temples for settling political scores it would be better if the government appointed an inquiry committee to look into the issues concerned.

Mr. Hegde would be attending the meeting of the committee drafting the Lokpal Bill in New Delhi on Tuesday.

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