BENGALURU: In a democracy, the voters are supreme and it is up to them to protect democracy, said former Supreme Court judge and former Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hedge.
When casting their votes, citizens should think whether the candidate will work for them or for himself. They should not be drawn by enticements of money or caste and should elect good people. “I have heard that people taken money, jewellery, liquor and other stuff to caste their votes. This is against democracy”, he told Public TV on the sidelines of an event hosted at an educational institution here on Saturday.
Speaking on people with criminal background entering politics, he people who are jailed for more than two years are barred from contesting elections, but in the present judicial system, if a person is to be convicted, it may take 50-60 years. “Hence, many people come out on bail and contest the election as there is no law to prevent it. But this must change”, he said. As per the laws, those convicted for a life term or death by hanging have not option of bail, he added.
Earlier, speaking after inaugurating a moot court competition at the Alliance University in Anekal, Hegde said, “People go to jail, get bail and come out. They are not even acquitted, but hundreds of people go to the airport to receive them, present them apple garlands, shout slogans in their favour as if they have done a great job. And if you ask them why they do it to a man who has gone to jail, they retort saying ‘Didn’t Mahatma Gandhi also go to jail too’?”
“This is the attitude of society. It respects money, how you acquire it has no meaning. That’s why there is a mad race in today’s society to make money. If you want to become rich, the only other alternative is to hold big posts”, he added.