N. Santosh Hegde was born on 16th June 1940 in the district of Udupi in Karnataka. He was born in a town called Nitte, which he was named after. During his tenure, he was popular for being strong and determined and was never afraid to move against anyone to fight for the right cause.
He had many titles to him name as he was the Chief Justice of India, the Solicitor General of India and a Lokayukta member (anti corruption organization) in the state of Karnataka. He went against the former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa in the Bellary mining scam and fought to bring the truth to light.
His Early Life and Education
N Santosh Hegde did his schooling from St Aloysius College in Mangalore and Madras Christian College in Chennai. He completed his graduation from Central College in Bangalore and got his law degree from the Government Law College in 1965.
In 1966, he became an advocate and it was from here that his journey along the path of justice began.
His Significant Achievements
N Santosh Hegde was given the post of Advocate general in 1984 and from 1989-1990, he was the Solicitor General of India and was given the same position in 1998. In 1999, he got a prestigious position as the judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was the Lokayukta member of Karnataka in 2006 for a period of five years. It was here he exposed the corruption in the iron ore mines in Bellary and found out that well known ministers like G. Somashekara Reddy, G Janardhana Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy were involved in the scam.
N Santosh Hegde even brought the then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa into the limelight for all the wrong reasons. In June 2000, he resigned from the Lokatukta group when he was unable to help an innocent officer Gokul from being suspended by Krishna Palemar, a minister. The officer was suspended because he helped in exposing the mining ore scam which Palemar was a part of.
He was disappointed as he could not do anything to stop corruption in the state and he blamed the Government for the same. He also felt that his work was of no use because all the officers who were suspended by Hegde were given back their jobs in no time. Under political pressure, Yeddyurappa had to agree to the mining ore scam and this prompted N Santosh Hegde to withdraw his resignation.
During his course of work, he was dragged into many controversies and it was said that he’d forced Yeddyurappa into suspending the commissioner of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, who was accused of maintaining the city of Bangalore poorly during the monsoon season.
His Current Status
He retired from the Lokayukta in August 2011 and he is currently working actively with Anna Hazare in support of the Lokpal Bill. His contribution to the field of justice, his constant fight against corruption and his honesty has made Santosh Hegde an inspiration for many young Indians.