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India's Financial Growth Will Drown In Corruption: Hegde

Bangalore, Aug 2:  Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde today slammed the Lokpal Bill adopted by the Union Cabinet, saying India's financial growth would “drown” in corruption if it remains unchecked.Speaking to PTI, the former Supreme
PTI August 02, 2011 21:48 IST
PTI

Bangalore, Aug 2:  Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde today slammed the Lokpal Bill adopted by the Union Cabinet, saying India's financial growth would “drown” in corruption if it remains unchecked.

Speaking to PTI, 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