Orders reserved on Krishna's plea, stay extended till orders

Karnataka High Court today reserved orders on a petition by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna seeking quashing of the private complaint accusing him of facilitating illegal mining during his tenure as state Chief Minister between 1999 to 2004.

Justice N Ananada also extended the stay granted by the high court on all proceedings of the Lokayukta court including the FIR filed by Lokayukta police against Krishna last month till the pronouncement of final orders.

On December 15, the high court had granted four weeks stay on the proceedings pending before the Lokayukta court.

The Lokayukta police had on December 8 filed an FIR against Krishna and two other former Chief Ministers N Dharam Singh and H D Kumaraswamy and 11 officials on a directive by the Lokayukta Court given on a private complaint filed by T J Abraham.

Earlier resuming arguments, Abraham submitted that though earlier it was decided by the state government that dereservation of forest land to encourage mining by private sector would be done in non-fragile areas, it was done in fragile mineral bearing regions despite opposition from the forest department.

"Important files on dereservation went missing and in December 2002, the decision (to dereserve) was intentionally taken with the knowledge of the head of the state (who was S M Krishna that time)", he alleged.

At this the Judge observed "show the culpability of the Chief Minister in dereservation. He cannot be held responsible for all the illegalities committed".

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