Ex-Supreme Court Judge And Former Colleague

Ex-Supreme Court Judge And Former Colleague

Totally disappointed with Arvind Kejriwal, says former Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde


Former Supreme Court Judge N Santosh Hegde said today he was “totally disappointed” with Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was arrested in connection with an excise policy linked money-laundering case.

Justice (retd) Hegde, a former Solicitor General of India, was among the key personalities, including Mr Kejriwal, behind the then ‘India Against Corruption’ movement, spearheaded by Anna Hazare, more than a decade ago, which had at the time brought the issue of corruption into sharp focus.

“It clearly shows that when in power, greed overtakes you,” he said on the case against Arvind Kejriwal.

“I am totally disappointed. I thought AAP (after it came to power) will uphold administrative fairness which is not there. And it is an indication of the fact that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” he told Press Trust of India.

After a part of the movement became a political party (AAP), Justice (retd) Hegde, the former Karnataka Lokayukta, came out of it.

“Special reason for coming out was that politics today is a den of corruption. No political party is free from it. The India Against Corruption movement was fighting against corruption in administration.

It was our principle that we will stay out of politics and try to clean politics. But then a group of people decided that we should enter into politics (and then went on to form AAP) and clean it which I never believed can be done successfully. And I think what’s happening today in AAP is an example of what I thought was correct,” Mr Hegde said.

He said Arvind Kejriwal had come home to invite him to join the party but he did not agree.

Mr Hegde also shared his views on oft-repeated allegations levelled by opposition parties against the BJP-led NDA government of misusing Central agencies like ED and CBI in corruption cases and targeting them.

“Allegation of parties in opposition that the ruling party is doing it only for destroying opposition, I don’t believe it. Yes, they are selectively doing this. But that is no offence at all. Because in criminal jurisprudence, there is no Article 14 (of the Constitution)…does not apply equality.

“And one day when they will come to power, they will go against the BJP. So, ultimately there will be complete justice, is it? If they don’t do it against the opposition, then when they come to power they won’t do it against these people also. At least 50 per cent justice is being done now,” he said.

In the coming Lok Sabha elections, Hegde said he wants every eligible person to vote.

“Vote not based on any caste, or any affiliation whatsoever, vote based on the quality of the candidate. If you don’t find a suitable candidate who would serve your constituency, then there is NOTA (None of the Above). Vote for NOTA. That will send a message to political parties that every ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ is not a suitable politician,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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