Mangalorean.com is very proud to present its Mangalorean Star for the month of April 2008. Justice Santhosh Hegde is the present Lokayukta Chief of the State of Karnataka and is a person who is well on his way to becoming a role model for the younger generation. The intrinsic values he holds dear in his life and his diligent fight against corruption makes him a person who is worthy of emulation.
Santhosh Hegde was born on June 16th, 1940 in Karkala, Udupi District, Karnataka State. He did his schooling at the St. Aloysius High School, Mangalore and the Madras Christian School, Madras. He completed his Intermediate from St. Joseph's College, Bangalore and his B.Sc., degree from the Central College, Bangalore. He then went on to get a Law degree from the Govt. Law College, Bangalore (presently known as the University Law College, Bangalore). Justice Hegde is married to Mrs. Sharada Hegde, who is herself an M.A., BL. At heart, he is a simple man who loves listening to Ghazals and Hindi music.
Justice Hegde is the son of Late Justice K S Hegde, Former Justice of Supreme Court of India and Former Speaker of Lok Sabha. His Mother, Late Mrs. Meenakshi Hegde, who belonged to Nitte Village. Late K.S. Hegde, was born in Kowdoor Village and had his early education at Karkala and Mangalore, later a degree in Law from the Government Law College, Madras. He Began his legal practice at Karkala in 1936 and later moved to Mangalore, where he was appointed public prosecutor of South Canara district in 1948. He was elected member of the First Council of states, now known as the Rajya Sabha. In 1954, he represented India at the General Assembly of the United Nations. He then became a judge of the Mysore High Court. In 1966, he was appointed the first Chief Justice of the Delhi and Himachal Pradesh High Court. He held this office till he was elevated to the post of judge of the Supreme Court of India in 1967. However, he resigned this office in 1973, in protest against the supersession of senior judges in the appointment of the Chief Justice of India. In 1977, Justice K.S.Hegde was elected to the Lok Sabha and later was appointed Speaker of the Lok Sabha. He held this office till 1980. After a distinguished career, he retired from public life and settled at Nitte, only to relentlessly work for the upliftment and empowerment of the rural people. Justice K.S. Hegde passed away on May 25, 1990.
Justice Santhosh Hegde has been a sportsman throughout his school and university career, which probably explains the deep sense of discipline that has been instilled into his personality and is very evident even today. During his school years, he represented his school team in various games including the Inter-state cricket tournament. He also represented the State of Mysore and University of Mysore in Hockey.
He has held various positions throughout his working career that have brought him prestige and honour. In turn, he has contributed his expertise extensively and the hard work and integrity he has given to every post that he has held, has made it a worthy experience not only for him, but for all those who have worked under him and with him as colleagues.
Description of his posts in brief:
- Practiced as a Lawyer since 1966.
- Advocate General of Karnataka between 1984 and 1988.
- Additional Solicitor General of India at New Delhi between 1989 and 1990.
- Solicitor General of India between 1998 and 1999.
- Judge of Supreme Court of India from 1999 to 2005.
- Chairman, Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, New Delhi from 2005 to 2006.
- Presently functioning as Lokayukta, State of Karnataka , Bangalore since August 2006.
Conferred with a Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Mangalore.
Bestowed with the prestigious Vandana Award instituted by the Sri Devi Education trust and Mangalore City Rotaract Club, during the annual day celebrations held on March 8th 2008 at the TMA Pai International Convention Center.
Justice Santhosh Hegde voices his views on corruption and other related matters, in a brief exchange of ideas with Mangalorean.com.
M.com: Are you happy with the present powers that the Lokayukta has been endowed with?
Mr. Hegde: No, I cannot say that I am happy.
M.com: Has the Institution of Lokayukta helped in controlling corruption?
Mr. Hegde: To some extent it has.
M.com: What is the quantum of applications that the Lokayukta receives? Is there any overlapping with Karnataka Administrative Tribunal? If yes, would it be advisable to have a unified body having elements of KAT and Lokayukta?
Mr. Hegde: We get applications in dozens per day. There are nearly 22,000 complaints pending (as of March 2008). The Lokayukta is only an investigating agency and KAT is an adjudicatory body. There is no overlapping of jurisdiction. In my opinion, it is not advisable to confer on the Lokayukta the adjudicatory powers because of the principle that one institution should not be the judge jury and the executioner, which is not accepted in Indian jurisprudence.
M.com: How can the younger generation of our society get involved in fighting corruption and aiding good governance.
Mr. Hegde: The younger generation should first determine to be honest and not to encourage corruption. It should be a tool for good governance by refusing to give bribe and by not accepting bribe. It should develop an attitude of satisfaction within their legitimate income. Thus, the younger generation can certainly bring about change in the social attitude towards corruption.
M.com: You have time and again stressed on the importance of a citizens movement in the city. Will such a movement have a legal support from the administration?
Mr. Hegde: The Citizen movement for good governance, which includes Prevention of Corruption, is a must. If the movement becomes strong, legal support will automatically come from administration.
M.com: The Right to information Act - how effective has it been so far in bringing about good governance in the City
Mr. Hegde: The Right to Information Act is of the year 2005 and is becoming very popular amongst the people and has already become a tool in the hands of the people to expose maladministration and in the days to come, it will certainly be a threat to corrupt officers.
M.com: You are a Mangalorean. If one thing you would like or dislike in Mangalore particularly about the social life of Mangalore, what would it be.
Mr. Hegde: Amongst all the people in the State of Karnataka, in my opinion Mangaloreans are the most enlightened. Therefore, they should build a value based society and if that is done, certainly it will be a model and an encouraging factor to the rest of India.
M.com: You are also known for your imposing personality, what would you describe the most important aspect of your personality- Is it the clean public life you have led so far, your penchant for an extremely efficient office or simply because you are Santosh Hegde.
Mr. Hegde: It is a God's gift of developing an attitude of satisfaction with what I have, without desiring for anything more.
M.com: Last but not the least, what is your message to our mangalorean.com readers?
Mr. Hegde: Mangalore is a very fast growing city, both economically and educationally. Therefore, my message to the readers and all Mangaloreans is please protect your culture and city and build a value based society.
Mangalorean.com wishes Justice Santhosh Hegde all the very best in his future endeavors!