Judges Are Not Above The aw: Lok Ayukta

Judges Are Not Above The aw: Lok Ayukta 24 Jan 2009, 2227 hrs IST, TNN Text: MANGALORE: Lok Ayukta Justice N Santhosh Hegde on Saturday regretted the Supreme Court judges hesitating to make public details regarding their assets. "Why judges are hesitating to declare details about the assets they possess. Judges are not above the law. Why can't they be transparent," he said while delivering a speech on `corruption and society' at the 4th Mangalore Today Conclave here on Saturday. Hegde, who was critical about the Lok Ayukta powers, said the Lok Ayukta Act contains several lacunas and he had suggested several amendments. About the government hesitating to bestow more powers on Lok Ayukta, he said: "The job of Lok Ayukta is not confined to fighting corruption. It is an institute overseeing good governance. But the government looks at it as an aggressive body and not as an institution helping them in good governance." Lamenting over the level of corruption in the society, he said it was unfortunate that the society itself had accepted maladministration and corruption as way of life. "We have forgotten differentiating between the legitimate and illegitimate wealth. Whoever had wealth was respected in the society irrespective of the source of wealth. Nothing would change unless this attitude in the society changes," he said. Blaming greed as the reason for growing menace of corruption, Hegde said if people developed a sense of satisfaction with legitimate income, definitely the level of corruption would come down. Hegde also honoured A G Kodgi, chairman 3rd Finance Commission, Karnataka, with Lifetime Achievement Award 2009 instituted by Mangalore Today on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Kodgi said the panchayat raj institutions and urban local bodies have to be strengthened to ensure effective functioning of democracy in the grass-roots level. To help the local administrative bodies, the commission had suggested increasing the statutory grants to the gram panchayats from the existing Rs 6 lakh to minimum Rs 9 lakh and maximum Rs 15 lakh. Simultaneously it had recommended releasing to the taluk panchayat grants of Rs 1 to 4 crore, he said.

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Source : TNN,
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