Delivering a lecture on corruption at the Indian Institute of Science here on Tuesday, the Lokayukta said a large number of files were pending awaiting approval of the ministers. He noted that the stature of democracy has come down compared to the time soon after independence.
”During the Constituent Assembly proceedings etween 1946 and 1950, there was not a single walkout during the entire period”, he said, referring to the kind of behaviour prevailing at present, particularly during the recent trust motion at the Vidhana Soudha.
On the recent controversy over denotification of land by the state government, Hegde said the government cannot defend denotification of hundreds of acres of land only on the ground that the previous administrations too indulged in similar act. ”There is no legal sanction for such a defence”, he said.
The Lokayukta also took dim view of the amendment brought to the Prevention of Corruption Act, whereby the burden of proof for wrong declaration of assets by an officer no longer rested on him.
“This bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in a session in 2008, when 17 bills were passed by the Lok Sabha in 12 minutes without any discussion”, he said. In contrast, during the last session, nearly 75 per cent of the members were ready to discuss hike in their emoluments.
Hegde criticised the Union government for not acting on Indian money stashed in Swiss banks.”
All other countries intimated by the Swiss authorities such as the US, China, UK have already got in touch with these banks and recovered the money. In contrast , India is yet to take any action”, he noted.