Blog: Arvind Kejriwal must acknowledge, rectify mistakes, writes Justice Santosh Hegde

Published: January 23, 2014 18:22 IST
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(Justice N Santosh Hegde has served as a Supreme Court judge and the Lokayukta of Karnataka. He was part of the core team that led the India Against Corruption movement, demanding the new anti-graft Lokpal law)

The Aam Aadmi Party was created out of the India Against Corruption team. I remember having a long chat with Arvind Kejriwal around the time he decided to form the party. He wanted to be a part of the system to change it. I have never wanted to join politics, so I wished him luck and told him that I would continue to remain a watch-dog and be critical of parties including his when they made mistakes.

I felt existing political parties had developed strong roots and become big trees. They got too complacent. In that background, I thought there was a need for an alternative to be brought about to attempt to bring the change. The hope was that AAP would take a different path.

AAP did surprisingly well in the Delhi elections and at that time I thought in a democracy, it is the responsibility of the party given a chance by voters to form the government, even if it means by taking support from another party. There is nothing wrong with that, if values are not compromised.

So I did not find the alliance with the Congress problematic.

 But after AAP took over the administration, things went wrong one after another. The manner in which they took some decisions, and some of the decisions they took, were arbitrary. Many of them can be described as unconstitutional. The SMS poll they held asking people whether they should form the government was also strange.

That is not the way it works.

But there was also a lack of consistency in the stand of the Delhi Chief Minister on government accommodation, official cars, etc.

Now, what happened with the African women was totally illegal. None other than the Law Minister, who is a lawyer, took the law into his own hands. Things have to go as per the criminal procedure code. If a police officer does not cooperate, you go to a higher officer. If that doesn't work, go to a court. What authority does he have to ask a few people who are not even part of the government to handover women to the police? This is not public interest. It is illegal. The women say they were illegally confined. Then came allegations on how they were assaulted. How can a law minister do this?

Then came the big mistake. The Dharna. The Chief Minister, apart from other duties, also has constitutional obligations. The CM is signing files, takes decisions in matters of administration of the capital sitting on a footpath? Didn't he take the oath of secrecy? Isn't he violating the law? I find this childish. This shows arrogance of power. If this is the way they want to govern Delhi, they may as well conduct another referendum to see what the public thinks.

Kejriwal can still rectify and deliver as the Chief Minister.

I hope he rectifies his mistakes, acknowledges them. He must go on and discharge the duties of CM.

Just some youngsters supporting him is not enough, some elderly like me too need to be heard.

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