Oppn uses Lokayukta to corner CM
[ The Times of India,  13-07-2002Page- 1 ]

Bangalore: Chief Minister S.M. Krishna on Friday said everyone, including himself, will bow to the findings of the Lokayukta which is investigating misappropriation of funds in city municipal councils [CMCs]. Replying to a depate in the Legislative Council on the Lokayukta raids in the CMCs, Krishna said" "Be it the CM or a minister or an official, we will abide by the findings of the probe. Whoever is involved, whether a Shetty or a Gowda, the culprits will be punished. It will be a dispassionate inquiry." He said the Lokayukta had begun a comprehensive probe into the Rs 240-crore scam in CMCs. He reiterated that the state government was extending full support to the Lokayukta in exposing the culprits.

       "The scam came to light because of government's initiative to curb corruption in public administration. So, there is no need for use to protect anyone. We will ensure that everyone in the government cooperates with the Lokayukta," he stated.

        He said the government had already suspended officials at the KR Puram, Bommanahalli and Bytarayanapura CMCs and that the Corps of Detectives had also commenced a probe. The Lokayukta probe would cover all aspects of the CMCs' functioning, including the fow of funds to them, he added.

       Refusing the BJP's demand for a CBI probe, he said: "Why demean our police forces? Who arrested Kareem Lala? It was our police who filed chargesheet an investigated." The BJ, however, wanted the CM to drop Social welfare Minister A. Krishnappa, who is allegedly involved in the scam, till the Lokayukta probe is completed.

       But the chief minister said: "I requesty you to wait till the Lokayukta completes his probe and submits the report to the government. The day of thejudgement will be the day I receive the report." Dissatisfied with he reply, the BJP staged a walkout. In the Assembly, the opposition BJP staged a dharna after Speaker M.V. Venkatappa disallowed an adjournment motion on the issue after opposition leader Jagadish Shettar and JD(U) floor leader P.G.R. Sindhia made their preliminary submissions. Venkatappa, however, mollified the protesting members by assuring them that he would allow a debate on the issue in a different form.

Queries upset Krishna

[ The Times of India,  13-07-2002Page -1 ]

Bangalore: Chief Minister S.M. Krishna lost his cool in the Legislative Council on Friday when the entire opposition demanded the resignation of Social Welfare Minister A. Krishnappa for his alleged involvement in the misappropriation of funds in the City Municipal Councils (CMCs).

    The House witnessed a verbar duel between the opposition and ruling parties members, including the chief minister, who defended his Cabinet colleague. "If you are targeting a minister, I am not going to oblige. I am sitting here as a leader and I will protect my minister. We have fought you (the opposition) and will continue to fight you," Krishna said. When the opposition insisted that Krishnappa quit office at least temporarily to ensure an impartial inquiry by the Lokayukt, Krishna shot back: "This is a serious reflection on the Lokayukta's image. He (Lokayukta) will not be influenced by anyoune. Rember, the scam came to light due to the government's initiative and not due to the opposition."

Guilty should be sued, says Lokayukta

[ The Times of India,  13-07-2002 Page-3 ]

Bangalore: Lokayukta Justice N. Venkatachala said he would recommend to the government to initiate disciplinary action against nearly 100 Civic Municipal Corporation (CMC) officials and also sue them in criminal courts for alleged misappropriation of funds.

     Addressing the members of the Advocates Association on Friday, Justice Venkatachala regretted that government officials were being demoralised due to the rampant corruption in the government machinery. "Most top officials want their posts for their own selfish needs and survival. If 95 per cent of India's population stands up against corruption, the evil can be curbed" he stressed.

      "To tackle corruption, one needs to use various weapons. It is not an easy job," Justice Venkatachala said adding that he would continue to expose corrupt public servants.