Santosh Hegde agrees to be member of Lokpal Bill committee

Mangalore: Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde today said he has accepted the government decision to appoint him as one of the members of the ten-member committee to draft the Lokpal Bill.

Speaking to the media here, he said, "I am willing to serve as a member of the committee". Hegde yesterday declined to head the committee following speculations in this regard.

Authorities of Lokpal should be vested with powers given to police, Hegde said.

Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge known for his vigorous campaign against corruption, had said yesterday that former Chief Justice of India J S Verma, would be the most ideal person for the post. Verma was the other choice of Anna Hazare for the post, following negotiations with government after his fast-unto-death to draft an effective Lokpal Bill to battle corruption.

"No I do not think it will be right for me to chair the joint committee," Hegde had said, noting his role in drafting the earlier Lokpal bill and supporting Hazare in his fight against graft might invite allegations of being biased and prejudiced.