Inaugurating the an all India Lokayuktas Conference, Mukherjee said anger against the "bitter pandemic" of corruption was legitimate as is the protest against the "plague" but insisted that it should not become an excuse for an assault on the country's democratic institutions.
"It must be ensured that in the name of checking corruption, vilification campaigns are not carried out to defame or destroy reputations. False allegations aimed at impugning reputations are bad," Mukherjee said.
Listing measures being taken by the government to contain corruption, he said one must be able to distinguish between bonafide errors of judgement from corruption and civil wrong from criminal intent.
"We must also distinguish bonafide errors of judgment from graft and corruption, civil wrong from criminal intent and the need to have swift and effective sanctions against corruption from the imperative of protecting the innocent."