CEC wants CBI probe on mining in Karnataka too

CEC wants CBI probe on mining in Karnataka too

AP High Court ordered CBI probe into the case last year

In a fresh report filed in the apex court, it said the CBI probe being carried out in Bellary Reserve Forest of Anantpur district in Andhra Pradesh should also be extended to cover the illegalities committed by M/s Associated Mining Company (AMC) and by some “third parties” in leases granted to M/s NMDC.

The mining lease of AMC was effectively transferred to former state Tourism minister G Janaradan Reddy, already  arrested by the CBI, and G Lakshmi Aruna from August 1, 2009 by “adopting some dubious means.”

The Andhra Pradesh High Court had last year ordered CBI probe into alleged illegal mining in the state.

“The CEC is firmly of the view that the CBI which is presently carrying out investigation regarding illegal mining from the mining leases in Bellary Reserve Forest in Andhra Pradesh and associated issues may be asked to investigate and take appropriate follow up action in respect of the illegalities pertaining to the mining lease of M/s AMC and also regarding the illegal mining done within the lease of M/s NMDC by third parties and linkages with the iron ore shown to have been legally produced and transported from mining leases,” the report said.

A joint team of representatives of Karnataka’s Forest, Mines and Geology Department, Lokayukta and CEC members are undertaking the survey and demarcation with regard to mining leases in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradruga districts following a direction by the apex court’s forest bench on August 26.

The report said the joint team would complete the entire work relating to the field survey and finalisation of the sketches in all three districts by November 15.

The report notes that the joint team has, with regard to the mining lease of M/s NMDC, observed that massive illegal mining by third parties had taken place within its leased area and that in September, 2009, it voluntarily suspended the undertaking of mining operations.