Former Supreme Court Judge, Shivaraj V. Patil today took over as Karnataka Lokayukta and said corruption would not be tolerated at any level in the state.
Addressing his maiden press meet after being sworn-in by Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, he said, “let the message go that corruption will not be tolerated at any level in the state. Stringent action will be taken against those who indulge in it (corruption).”
Asserting that pressure of any kind shall not work, Mr. Patil, who succeeds Santosh Hegde whose term ended yesterday, warned that if some people indulged in exerting pressure, “they will regret”.
Earlier, Mr. Patil had probed the procedures followed in allocation of telecom spectrum in 2001-09 following the 2G spectrum scandal.
Mr. Patil said the oath he had undertaken would be his “guiding spirit” and he would stand by it.
Though the oath is “tough and challenging as expectations are high, I will make endeavours to see that culprits are brought to book at the earliest. The good work done by the previous Lokayukta will be carried forward and we will add to it,” Mr. Patil said.
Responding to a query on the report on illegal mining submitted by Mr. Hegde (which indicted outgoing Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa), Mr. Patil said, “the report submitted by Lokayukta is long and stupendous. I have not yet read the report, unless I study the report in detail, I cannot comment on it”.
To another question on Governor according sanction to Lokayukta police to initiate criminal proceedings against Mr. Yeddyurappa over the report on illegal mining, Mr. Patil said, “the communique sent by the Governor, has not yet been placed before me, once it is placed. I will examine it and take appropriate action as per the Lokayukta Act”.
On his action plan to tackle corruption, Mr. Patil said “every individual, every Lokayukta has a particular style, instead of saying it, wait and see“.
In response to another question on Lokayukta being provided more teeth, Mr. Patil said to some extent he felt that more powers were needed. However, he said he would have to study it in depth.
To another query, he said his appointment was not by the BJP. “My appointment is by a competent authority. I have never considered or consider myself to be appointed by the BJP“.
“I have been a judge at various levels. I can be polite in treatment and firm in judgement. Time will unfold”, he said.
Tough action would be taken against Lokyukta officers found guilty of indulging in corruption. “I am looking for officers with unquestionable integrity”, he said.
Referring to complaints on maladministration, he said currently 11,000 complaints were pending. “We will have to reach the people. We three (along with two Upalokayuktas) have decided, to go to different places and hear the grievances on the spot and see what can be done“.
The priority would be to ensure that all cases reach their logical conclusion and disposed of expeditiously and the culprits brought to book, Patil said, adding it was necessary to root out corruption for good governance.
He announced that he along with two Upalokayuktas, R. Gururajan and S.B. Majage, will declare their assets which will soon be put up on the official website. Hindu