Loss from House logjam greater than Bofors scandal: Ex-SC judge

New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) Former Supreme Court Judge N Santosh Hegde on Friday flayed the opposition for stalling Parliament over demonetisation, saying the loss due to the disruptions is greater than the money lost in the Bofors scandal.

“The sad part of our politics is if you are in the opposition, you have to oppose everything. Every party has said demonetisation is a good move but implementation is bad and for that they are protesting in Parliament.

“One day of proceedings costs around Rs 10 crore and we have already lost over 10 days of the session. If one calculates the cost, then it is much more than the money we lost in the Bofors scandal where we lost Rs 64 crore,” said Hegde.

Speaking at the Transparency International India’s national conference on “Combating Corruption”, the former Lokayukta hailed the Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation move to combat corruption.

“Demonetisation is a very good move. As a matter of fact, various governments had earlier thought about it, but they did not have the courage to do that. This government has shown that courage and done it.

“Obviously, demonetisation has its own repercussions, it has caused hardships to the people but, at the same time, you cannot count out the effect it already has on corruption,” he said.

Expressing concern over the growing rate of corruption, Hegde blamed the society for “its attitude” behind the rise of the malady.

“Society is the biggest culprit, it is because we have accepted it as a usual norm that corruption has been flourishing.

“Today we don’t condemn those who indulge in corruption, rather we hail them when they walk out of jail,” said the former Ombudsman, who had indicted former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in a bribery case.

“We have enough laws to combat corruption, but no amount of laws will be sufficient unless and until society changes its attitude. China punishes corruption with death penalty but the fact remains that corruption levels are higher in China than India.”

More than punishment what is required is societal boycott of those who indulge in corruption, added Hegde.

Speaking on the occasion, Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor Zameer Uddin Shah, however, asserted that fear is the key to preventing corruption.

“Fear of getting caught is the key to nudge people into remaining honest,” said Shah stressing upon the need for stringent penalties for curbing corruption.

While admitting that it has caused hardships, Shah hailed the demonetisation move.

“Demonetisation has once again ignited the hope for a corruption-less India. Of course, it has caused hardships to people, including the AMU students who have to stand in queues of ATMs and banks to get money for their fees. But then you need to undertake sufferings for something better,” he said.