Corruption in the office of the Lokayukta office is a huge matter of debate today. A finger has been pointed at the office and its officers on how they continued to book cases of corruption especially when their own officers were corrupt.
The entire issue blew out when an officer formerly associated with the Lokayukta spoke to the media about the corruption in the Lokayukta office. The most stinging of his revealations has been the one relating to the running of a protection cartel within the office of the Lokayukta office.
The officer Madhukar Shetty who today is away on study leave says that there was a protection cartel being run in the office of the Lokayukta. He said that some of the officers were extracting protection money and despite the matter being brought to the notice of the higher ups no action was taken.
The incidents that are being pointed out relate to the time when Justice Santhosh Hegde was the Lokayukta of Karnataka. After he submitted the mining report he has been in the line of fire especially from the ruling BJP in Karnataka which has been most affected by this report.
Justice Hegde however says that he had expected such a back lash. On Madhukar Shetty he says that he has a great deal of respect for Madhukar Shetty. He is too honest an officer and the problem with such persons is that they see everyone else as dishonest. He has got this feeling that each one is dishonest. I have had no complaints against him and trust me he is extremely honest. It is sad that his statements are being made use of by those people who have been affected by the mining report.
However I did not expect him to go to this extent. I find that there is a pattern involved in the manner in which the media has reported this. He had said these things during a discussion and the timing of the publication of these statements in the media are very interesting. This was a discussion of four months back. In my mining report I had named some journalists who had got kick backs from some companies who were involved in the mining scandal. This has ticked them off and hence these statements are being used against me. These statements are today being used for a collateral purpose and not journalistic purposes.
I am not saying that the Lokayukta office has been clean. I myself have said that there are black sheep in the department and each time the issue was brought to my notice, I have reacted and acted on it. In fact the mining report itself names 7 Lokayukta police officials and hence the allegation that I was blind to the problem is unfair.
The bigger allegation that Justice Hegde has been facing is about the names of former Chief Ministers, Dharam Singh and S M Krishna. Justice Hegde however defends himself and says that there are two mining reports and in the first one Dharam Singh had been named. The BJP says that I had let him off in the second report. What sense are they speaking? Show me where the second report lets him off. There should be some justification when they accuse me. About the name of S M Krishna, all I would like to ask the BJP is why they did not raise it when the first report came out in the first place. Why all the noise about him is being made today?