I won't quit before time: Hegde

Lokayukta says he has no personal interest in the cases against Yeddyurappa

The Ombudsman, however, regretted taking back the resignation he had tendered in June. “It was, no doubt, a mistake,” he said adding that he won’t put in his papers again as there were numerous responsibilities to fulfil in a short span.

The former Supreme Court judge also rued that every field, including judiciary and journalism, was marred in corruption.

“There is not a single institution free from corruption. There ought to be zero tolerance towards corruption in every field,” he said at an interaction arranged here by the Bangalore Reporters’ Guild and the Press Club of Bangalore.

Journalists also corrupt

Justice Hegde revealed that he had received complaints of corruption against nearly 20 journalists in the past.

However, he did not take action as it was outside the purview of Lokayukta. The complaints were about a few journalists owning illegal property. “Just like the Nira Radia case where topnotch journalists are said to be involved, there are a few allegations about journalists in the State too,” he remarked.  

The Lokayukta maintained that the notice he issued to the Chief Minister was”blown out of proportion”. He had “no personal interest” in the cases against B S Yeddyurappa.  Even though there were 14 allegations against the Chief Minister, he had taken action in only one case, he added.

Gadkari’s remarks

Asked about BJP National President Nitin Gadkari’s reported remark that the Lokayukta was “acting like the “Leader of Opposition”, Justice Hegde reiterated that he had no personal grudge against Yeddyurappa.

Even if he was not allowed to investigate any specific case, he won’t be “a happy or an unhappy man”, he added. “I really fail to understand which statement of mine led Gadkari to say that I am acting like an Opposition Leader,” Hegde said.

“If he thought so, he should not have asked me to take my resignation back when he was here the last time. Figuratively, however, I am an Opposition Leader for all ruling parties when they commit a mistake,” he remarked.

The Lokayukta lamented that action against lower officials goes unnoticed, whereas action against VIPs or their offspring becomes a controversy.

Won’t join politics

Asked about his future plans, Justice Hegde ruled out joining politics after retirement. “Let me make it clear that I will not join politics once I retire as I am not interested in it.”
Nor was he was going to form any organisation or work with any one, but would continue his fight against corruption in some form or the other, he added.

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