New Delhi: Former Lokayukta of Karnataka, Justice Santosh Hegde said on Tuesday that the material that was available in the public domain was enough to show that politicians made recommendations in the allocation of coal blocks to make money.
Speaking exclusively to Zee News he said that ‘auction’ of coal blocks in public interest could be an option.
Reacting on the various scams plaguing the country like commonwealth, 2G and coalgate, Justice Hegde said, “Unless you have a drastic change in bureaucratic and judicial system, the future looks bleak. To understand this we have to look backwards. Bofors was 64 crores, CAG 7000 crore, then 2G and now we have the coalgate in which the CAG has said that the loss to the exchequer was 1.86 lakh crore.”
“We will have to look into the nexus between the political class and the bureaucracy,” he added.
Lamenting on the fact that transparency and accountability were becoming bygone words, Justice Hegde said that the time had come to pronounce those people in public life guilty against whom allegations were made until they were proven innocent.
On being asked whether a high powered committee like JPC should investigate the coal block allocations as the CBI could be prone to executive and political interference, the former Lokayukta maintained that high powered committees should consist of retired officers with impeccable reputation. He however felt that Lokpal was the best bet to reduce the menace of corruption in the country.
He was also of the view that a SIT should be set up to investigate coalgate and that it should be time bound.
On a sad note he said, “There is no better political system then democracy but it has been misused by politicians.”
First Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 22:16