rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Justice Santosh Hegde decides to stay on the Lokpal bill panel

Justice Santosh Hegde decides to stay on the Lokpal bill panel

Last updated on: April 23, 2011 21:01 IST

I am committed to the cause: Hegde

     Next

Next
Vicky Nanjappa

The Lokpal drafting panel which was constituted with great difficulty will continue to function the way it is with Justice N Santhosh Hegde deciding to stay on in the panel. Hegde spoke with rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa following his decision to stay on in the panel.

Earlier, Hegde said that he was hurt with the statements made by Congress leader Digvijay Singh, and had threatened to quit the panel.

However, Hegde who arrived in New Delhi this morning met with members of the Lokpal bill committee and decided to reconsider his decision and stay on in the panel. The decision was taken after the Peoples' panel headed by Anna Hazare convinced him to stay on in the drafting committee.

The panel has also decided to write to the prime minister and the chief justice, asking them to look into the allegations. Further it was also decided that the panel will remain united against the smear campaign.

Are you happy with your decision?

I had always said that I came here with an open mind and also that the Lokpal bill is of prime importance and I am committed to the cause. The committee has decided to remain united and also it says that I would be an integral part of the committee.

It has also resolved that I would be part of the committee and see the bill through. Yes, I am happy with my decision to stay on, and I would say it is in the larger interest.

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: Justice N Santosh Hegde

     Next

'I was hurt with the remarks'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Had you come to New Delhi this morning having decided to quit the Lokpal bill drafting panel?

I was hurt with the remarks which were made in very poor light. However, I came to New Delhi with an open mind. As I had told you on Friday, I had decided on first meeting with the members of the committee before coming to any final decision.

Did you feel that by submitting your resignation you were playing into the hands of some people who want to derail the process of drafting this important bill?

There has to be a certain amount of restraint when people make allegations. Since the day the committee had been constituted there has been a smear campaign and it appears that it was being done to derail the process.

There are always two ways of looking at this issue. By quitting we may be furthering the cause of some of these people, but one must also bear in mind that unwarranted statements cannot be made.

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: A supporter of social activist Anna Hazare holds up a sign during a campaign against corruption in New Delhi
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Prev     Next

'There is a lot of mud thrown against the committee members'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The top Congress leaders have made it clear yesterday that no such statements would be made against the members of the committee. Do you think that this smear campaign will now end?

I really do not know. If some of the top leaders say that such statements should not be made then it would be apt if they pull such people up.There has been a lot of mud thrown against the committee members. Do you think it would be right on their part to continue? I am referring to the Bhushans here.

Just because people throw mud it does not necessarily mean that the allegations are true. Let law take its own course and once the allegations are proven let action follow. On the basis of a mere allegation it would not be right to expect people to step down.

Regarding the Bhushans I would not want to comment further since I feel that the law should take its own course. The veracity of the allegations are being looked into and I think we should wait for a final conclusion.

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: The Bhushans

Prev     Next

'It is clearly a smear campaign'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

In the public eye would it look nice if tainted members continue in the committee?

The Bhushans are not the only one against whom allegations have been made. They have been made against Anna Hazare too. It clearly looks like a smear campaign. Moreover, these members are here to draft a bill and they are not part of any decision making authority in the later stages.

I do not see any harm in these people giving their suggestions to the draft bill. If at all any of these people are found to be guilty then the law take its own course.

Click NEXT to read further..


Image: Social activist Anna Hazare gestures to photographers after attending a joint Lokpal panel meeting in New Delhi
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Prev     Next

'It will not be simple to pass this as just another bill'

Prev     More
Prev

More

Do you see the bill coming through at all?

I would love to see it come through.

How long will this process take?

If all goes well and there are no such disturbances then according to me it would take us five weeks to submit our report to the government. This bill has been debated and on nine occasions it has not seen the light of the day.

This time around there is a lot of pressure on the government and it did not expect that this movement would gain so much of public support. Our decision makers thought they will pass off this bill as just another bill. It will not be so simple this time around.

Do you think after this development the smear campaign against the Lokpal Committee would stop?

I would not be able to comment on that, but I would hope that the committee is allowed to function in the larger interest of the nation.


Image: A supporter of social activist Anna Hazare holds a placard during a campaign against corruption, in Chandigarh
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters
Prev     More