‘India`s fin growth will drown in corruption’

Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde on Tuesday slammed the Lokpal Bill adopted by the Union Cabinet, saying India`s financial growth would "drown" in corruption if it remains unchecked.

Bangalore: Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh
Hegde on Tuesday slammed the Lokpal Bill adopted by the Union
Cabinet, saying India`s financial growth would "drown" in
corruption if it remains unchecked.

Speaking to a news agency, the former Supreme Court judge, who
was a member of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal,
expressed his personal view that the Bill would be "toothless,
ineffective" and have no powers to nail the corrupt.

"If the CAG report on 2G is true.....Rs 1,76,000
crore...what will happen to this country? Entire financial
growth will drown in corruption," an anguished Hegde, who
retired as the Lokayukta today, said.

Hegde then sought to compare the corruption magnitude
in the 1950s and 1960s, and in 2000s and pointed to "increase
in the number of zeros (manifold increase in corruption)".

Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s statement
on "zero tolerance to corruption", he virtually sought to mock
it, saying: "I counted the words. We have already fulfilled
three (words)...tolerance to corruption".

"We have tolerance to corruption, tolerance to zero
and not corruption," he lamented.

Hegde said the Prime Minister has done a U-turn when
he stated that the inclusion of his post in the Lokpal was not
advisable. "That`s a U-turn. He had said earlier he has no
difficulty coming under Lokpal. The bill prepared by the
Government in 2010 included Prime Minister," he said.

Hegde said the Lokpal Bill, adopted by the Cabinet,
"does not have any investigating agency", and added that the
CBI`s anti-corruption wing should have been transferred to the
Lokpal.

Asked if he thought Anna Hazare`s decision to go on
fast from August 16 was the way forward, he observed, "What
else is left ? When you don`t have any other way out and the
government is using all its might to put down...."

He saw Hazare`s fast as a movement that realised the
magnitude of corruption. "I think this movement is against
corruption".

PTI

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