HC orders continuation of probe into lease granted by HDK

The Karnataka High Court today ordered continuation of a probe into the lease granted to a mining firm by former Chief Minister H D Kumarasawamy, but quashed charges of bribery and renewal of mining lease of another private firm.

Pronouncing his verdict on a petition by Kumaraswamy, praying for quashing proceedings initiated by a Lokayukta Special Court on a private complaint, Justice Ananda said the court has modified the lower court order, directing Lokayukta police to investigate the complaint under Sec 156/3 CrPC.

The court while quashing the charges against Kumaraswamy in a report in a leading English daily alleging he had collected Rs 150 crore bribe from miners and renewed the mining lease of Jentakal Enterprises, however allowed Lokayukta police to continue investigation into the lease granted to Shree Sai Venkateshwara mining company.

Justice Ananda said proceedings initiated in the complaint and consequent reference under Sec 156(3) CrPC by the 23rd Additional Civil and Sessions Judge and Special Judge for Prevention of Corruption Act, Bangalore relating to probe of offences alleged against Kumaraswamy based on a news report in 2006 about an allegation that he had collected Rs 150 crore bribe from miners, are quashed.

The court also quashed another charge that Kumaraswamy had misused his official position to renew licence of Jentakal Enterprises and had exerted pressure on the Commissioner of Mines and Geology department to issue permit to the firm for lifting old dump of one lakh metric tonne of low grade iron and manganese and reference under Sec 156(3) CrPC for investigation into these allegations.

The judge, however, said the reference under Sec 156(3) CrPC allegedly committed by Kumaraswamy in approving the lease in favour of Shree Sai Venkateshwara, "is confirmed".

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