Lokayukta a potent weapon in the hands of people

 thehindu.com  09/13/2019 19:29:39 

Former judge of the A.P. High Court P. Lakshmana Reddy, who has been appointed States Lokayukta, is known for his campaign against corruption. He will take charge here on September 15.

When contacted over telephone, Mr. Justice Lakshmana Reddy stressed the need for creating awareness among the people on their rights.

People need not wait for five years to teach a lesson to corrupt elected representatives. People need not put up with them, or listen to whatever the public representatives say. People have every right to question, or lodge a complaint against them. They can knock the doors of Lokayukta to register their grievances. But many people are not aware of it, he says. The elected representative is a public servant, which means he or she is a servant of the people. He is being fed by taxes paid by the people. The elected representatives and officials should realise this. Fear of law is the need of the hour, and the Lokayukta is a potent weapon in the hands of people, Mr. Justice Lakshmana Reddy says.

Yeleru scam

Mr. Justice Lakshmana Reddy hogged the limelight when he first unearthed the Yeleru land compensation scam and saved hundreds of crores of rupees to the State exchequer during his stint as principal district and sessions judge (PDJ) of Visakhapatnam in 1996. Apart from several IAS officials, a sub-judge and a lawyer had been arrested in the case.

Similarly, when he was PDJ of Adilabad and Khammam districts (now in Telangana), he plugged the loopholes in the system that allowed middlemen to swindle huge sums from the compensation granted to the next of kin of the deceased in road accident cases. He had gone to the extent of getting an additional judge arrested in one such case. Born in an agriculture family on April 18, 1945, at Paidipalem of Simhadripuram mandal in Kadapa district, he had completed his education in Kadapa and Bengaluru, and enrolled himself as an advocate in December 1972 in the Kadapa district court.

He later became PDJ and was elevated as a High Court judge in May 2005. From April 2007 to April 2010, he was vice-chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal in Hyderabad, during which time he had quashed the appointments of several IAS and IPS officers as heads of police, forest and other wings when the postings were found to be contrary to cadre rules.

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