A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia asked the court-appointed panel to inquire into the allegations made by advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing on behalf of NGO Samaj Parivartan Samudaya.
Counsel sought the CBI probe into the activities of the companies relying upon the Lokayukta report.
The court, however, said it would not immediately straightaway direct extension of CBI probe and would rather ask the CEC and Attorney General G E Vahanvati to look into it.
“There is a need to extend the CBI investigation to cover the two other major companies of Adani Enterprises and Jindal Steel (JSW) that have been strongly indicted in the report of the Lokayukta.
“Lokayukta has concluded: Adani Enterprises has paid the bribes for getting undue favour for illegal exports. Action should be initiated against the company to cancel the lease granted at Belekeri port. The company should be black-listed.
“Bribes ranging from Rs 22.62 lakh (2005-06) to Rs 1.28 crore (2007-08) have been paid to various officials who have been identified by their designations and these bribes facilitated a massive export of illicit ore amounting to 11,59,441 MT,” the written submission filed by the NGO alleged.
It also accused JSW of making bribe to former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa. “JSW has been indicted by the Lokayukta for making illegal payments of Rs 30 crore to the close relatives of the then Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa. This material was given to CEC by the petitioners in March 2011 which was submitted by the CEC in a sealed cover to this court. Now, Lokayukta has strongly indicted the then chief minister and JSW on the basis of the same material,” it said.
Taking submission of Bhushan into consideration, the court said, “We are equally concerned about the issue but it has to be done within a proper legal framework. We want to go in a particular and systematic manner.”
The Bench, also comprising Justices Aftab Alam and Swatanter Kumar, posted the matter for January 20.
The court on September 23 directed a CBI probe against two companies—Associated Mining Co and Deccan Mining Syndicate—for alleged illegal mining of iron and ore.
In its plea, the NGO also sought direction to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to demarcate the inter-state boundary in a time-bound manner and suspended the mining leases of six companies operating in the Bellary Reserve Forest in the Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh as recommended in CEC report on January 7, this year.