People would like to call it the Log Jam bill instead of the Lok Pal bill. Yet another meeting and nothing concrete out of it except a war of words between the Government of India and the drafting committee of the Lok Pal bill. Well it is sure going to be a no impact bill and I really do not have any great expectations from it says, Justice N Santhosh Hegde, member of the drafting committee.
Justice Hegde, former judge of the Supreme Court of India who is also the Lokayukta of Karnataka has been a target of many Congress leaders. Just last night he was even termed as a man of the Bharatiya Janata Party. With one contreversy after another, Justice Hegde says that comments are being made against him by those politicians who basically have no status. Here is what Justice Hegde has to say on the Lok Pal bill and also the comments against him by the leaders of the Indian National Congress Party.
On the Lok Pal bill what i say is that it would go through. However I would also add that the although the bill will go through it would do so only as a face saving excercise. The thing is that the people want the bill and hence there is no way in which the government scuttle it entirely.
However the big question is what type of a bill would it be? When we set out it was clear that it would cover virtually all those in power and powers would be given to act against those corrupt politicians and officials. However when I look at things today, I am sorry to say that the final bill may not include a lot of clauses which we have sought to include. No Prime Minister, no judiciary, restricted jurisdiction and also no powers to probe into militray deals which are suspect in nature. Well I am afraid that these clauses may not make it to the final bill since the government is adamant that it does not want all these clauses in the bill. To cut a long story short, the bill will be a no impact bill at the end of it and will not have any useful jurisdiction on the Lok Pal.
I am thoroughly disappointed. Initially when we all met things were cordial, but over the days a lot did change. We could see that the government of India had an open mind and were agreeing to a lot of the clauses suggested by us. However on the fourth day there were signs of resistance. They said that they wanted to consult the states and also the political parties which we had no objection to. Then things did go haywire. We are not suggesting that everything that we say should be accepted, but healthy consultations would not have harmed anyone. Then started the war of words and the talks became more and more aggressive. Basically everything that we said was made into an issue. However yesterday’s meeting was the last straw and none of the issues raised by us were taken up. There is a meeting on the 20th and the 21st and I am confident nothing concrete would come out of it either.
On the BJP man comment: I have really nothing to say about this. These are all politicians who have no status who make comments against me. I have no idea why they chose to comment on me every now and then. Well if you are asking me for the reasons behind these comments, I am really not in a position to tell you why. It was said that it could be a pre cursor to the mining report slated to be relased later this month. However I refuse to beleive that these comments are a pre cursor. No one really knows what is in that report and trust me I have not spared anyone in that report. I really do not want to attack all these persons for what they have been saying. I will submit the report which will speak for itself.
I do not think these comments have anything to do with the mining report only. It started with Veerappa Moily. Then Digvijay Singh came into the picture and started making comments despite not knowing the ABCD of Karnataka. His comments were followed by statements by B K Hariprasad and also Janardhan Poojary. What I noticed was that each time the intensity of the comments became more and more.
I have no regrets though and I do not think taking up the post of Lokayukta was wrong on my part. I may have failed in some areas but i have no regrets since I have given my best shot.
I will be writing to Pranab Mukherjee shortly. I would like to tell him that I was a sportsman and I have learnt to take things in the right spirit. I have always adopted the Olympic motto where winning is not everything. Participation is more important and we need to play the game in the right spirit.
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