02 August, 2021

The Custodian Of Conscience

A tribute to Justice Venkatachala and the role of Lok Ayuktas

R. Prasad
The Custodian Of Conscience

For 20 years, the Lok Ayuktas of Karnataka did little, despite the wide-ranging powers conferred on the incumbents of this office. But this changed since 2001, when Justice N. Venkatachala, a retired judge of the Supreme Court, became Lok Ayukta. He has stirred things up and made life more uncomfortable for officialdom, particularly at the top. Officials and politicians are being closely scrutinised for errant behaviour, and governmental and local bodies being called to account. The judge has a penchant for shaming corrupt persons in authority. He is a good man and is doing good things.

Perception of degrees of corruption can only be approximate. But if the CPI ’03 (Corruption Perception Index) of Transparency International is considered, India’s place between 2 and 3 on the scoreboard, which ranges from 10 (highly clean) to zero (highly corrupt), is abysmally low.

UNDP’s annual Human Development Report has a new slot—the percentage of people residing in the world’s principal cities asked to bribe public...

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