17 April, 2021

Sleight Of Hand

Trapped babus file suits to foil the Lokayukta

Nilotpal Baruah
Sleight Of Hand

In recent months, Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde has himself had to defend his turf from those whom he has raided, trapped and called corrupt. Although the Lokayukta is an institution clearly mandated by law to improve the standards of public administration and look into ‘corruption, favouritism and official indiscipline’, there is a serious “new trend” in the state of the accused trying to “undermine” the institution. Ironically, defamation cases have been slapped against Hegde and his staff to deter them from doing their constitutionally-sanctioned duty.

A couple of weeks ago, an IPS officer who was raided in 2009 in a disproportionate assets case filed a civil defamation case against the Lokayukta claiming a symbolic compensation of one rupee. Earlier, an IAS officer had gone so far as to file a criminal defamation case. Besides targeting the Lokayukta himself, civil servants have also targeted senior police officers in the organisation. The CEOs of two zilla panchayats raided in...

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