Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj indicated today he cannot intervene on the issue of phone tapping of Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde.
He said the phone-tapping is a matter between the "aggrieved party" (Hegde) and the people against whom grievances have been made. "They are very responsible people who tried to influence him or tried to tap his telephone. Telephone tapping cannot be done by you and me. So I have no role in this matter," Bhardwaj told reporters in response to questions. But the Governor said if Lokayukta wants him (Bhardwaj) to do anything (on this issue) he has promised him that he would whatever is possible.
"That stage (Hegde has not requested the Governor to intervene) has not come", Bhardwaj added. The disclosure of the Lokayukta last week that his phone had been tapped and coming as it did after his second and final report on the mining scam in Karnataka was leaked, has raised a political storm, with Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and four ministers, among others, being indicted.
The Karnataka government has asserted it had not ordered tapping of telephone of the Lokayukta, who yesterday hinted at the possible involvement of a political party behind it. Asked if he is convinced that the state government is behind his phone-tapping, Hegde, a former Supreme Court Judge, had said: "I would not say Government; but political party might be there (behind the phone-tapping)...I don't know, that I don't want to comment...I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to join issue on phone tapping".