Involve High Court collegium in appointment of new Lokayukta: Justice Santosh Hegde
A long drawn ordeal came to an end and Justice Y Bhaskar Rao resigned as the Karnataka Lokayukta. The institution of Karnataka Lokayukta has been mired in controversy ever since allegations of corruption broke out involving the son of Justice Rao.
The Karnataka Lokayukta needs to be saved at any cost and one cannot let the institution collapse at any cost, Justice N Santosh Hegde, former Lokayukta of Karnataka tells OneIndia.
There are a lot of steps that ought to be taken in the near future to ensure that the Lokayukta functions properly and the first priority would be to clear the backlog of the cases, Justice Hegde also points out.
Accountability is most important:
Justice Hegde says that in any institution accountability is very important. There are procedures that provide for the impeachment of judges, but they tend to get delayed.
In that respect the recent decision of the government to institute a body of three judges to look into corruption allegations against a Lokayukta is a good step. Such a body would provide for more accountability in the Lokayukta, Justice Hegde also adds.
However, the immediate step one would need to take now is to ensure that the Lokayukta starts functioning. Justice Rao was away for a very long time and the work too had not been delegated to anyone. In the process files had piled up and those persons who had filed complaints suffered the most.
There was a total breakdown and failure of the system. The intention now should be to cure the defects in the institution and the primary concern should be about those people who have so much faith in the institution.
In addition to this, while appointing the new Lokayukta, the collegium of the High Court has to be involved.
See the last time around we heard that there was an opinion given against appointing Justice Rao. But the government took a call. Hence, I say that the opinion of the judiciary must matter and cannot be ignored.