Foreign hand charge against Team Anna a bit desperate: Hegde

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Santosh Hegde
Chennai, Jun 12: Rubbishing Congress' charge that Team Anna was involved with foreign forces as 'a bit desperate', one of its members and former Supreme Court Judge N Santosh Hegde said blaming foreign hand was a 'famous statement' of the 70s.

"This was a famous statement of the 70s. Every time a fault was pointed out, (an allegation was made saying) it is the international phenomenon or foreign hand involved," Justice Hegde told reporters here. Responding to Union Minister Vayalar Ravi's comments also echoed by his cabinet colleague V Narayansamy, Hegde said, three of the Team Anna members, have got Magsaysay Awards, which is awarded in Manila.

"Somebody selects them. To say that (they're funded by foreign agencies) is a bit desperate," he added.

To a question on conviction of persons charged with corruption, he said that the "system is failed," with cases under Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) taking 10 years. "Take (former Union Telecom Minister) Sukhram's case. CBI filed chargesheet in 1996 and the first conviction was in 2009. Now he has obtained a stay. The system has changed and something better is required," he said.

On another former Telecom Minister and prime accused in 2G scam A Raja being accorded a rousing reception upon his arrival in the state, Hegde, a former Karnataka Lokayukta, described it as "denigration in societal thinking." "Today people are sent to jail in a procession as if they are going on a foreign trip or something. And when they get bail and come out, we receive them (in a way) that shows the downward trend in social laws," he rued.

On election petitions, he called for a "drastic change," saying the very objective of the provision must be kept in mind. "If a person is not entitled to sit in the elected body, if he continues to be there till the term is over, then what is the purpose of it?" he said.

PTI

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