The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, directed a Special Investigation Team of the Karnataka State Police to probe the roles of former Chief Ministers of the state, HD Kumaraswamy and N Dharam Singh in the iron ore mining scam.
The case pertains from the time when SM Krishna, Dharam Singh and Kumaraswamy held the office of Chief Ministerin Karnataka and allegedly gave away illegal mining contracts in the state.
However, the SC said that the stay against investigating ex-Congressman SM Krishna, would continue during the period of the SIT’s investigation. The apex court has given the SIT three months to conduct a probe and submit its report.
A bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman also restrained all other courts including the Karnataka High Court from passing any order in relation to this case.
The court has also directed the SIT to probe allegations on bureaucrats named in the case including Dr Basappa Reddy, V Umesh Gangaram Baderia, IR Perumal, Manjunath, Dr DS Ashwath, Jija Harisingh, Mahendra Jain, K Srinivas and M Ramappa.
One of the complainants in the case, businessman and activist TJ Abraham, has alleged that the former chief ministers connived with several bureaucrats and others in de-registering a huge tract of forest land and allowed illegal iron ore mining on a large scale.
Abraham has referred various Lokayukta reports filed by former Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde, indicting several politicians and bureaucrats.
The Karnataka High Court in 2012 had directed the Lokayukta to probe allegations against SM Krishna, as Abraham had alleged that the former CM had given away mining contracts while he was in power between 1999 and 2004.
Prior to that, Krishna had approached the Karnataka High Court seeking to quash the FIR filed against him by the Lokayukta Police under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Dharam Singh was Karnataka CM in the Congress-JD-S coalition government in 2004-06 and H D Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal-Secular took office charge in 2006 heading the JD-S-BJP coalition.
Santosh Hegde, in his report submitted on July, 2011 had requested a probe on Yeddyurappa’s role in the illegal mining case.