BSY stares at yet another minefield

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) appointed by it, to look into charges made by an NGO that two companies in the iron ore mining and steel production bribed former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and senior officials for the alleged illegal mining and transport of iron ore.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia told the court-appointed panel to inquire into the allegations against JSW Steel and Adani Enterprises made by advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing on behalf of NGO Samaj Parivartan Samudaya. “We ask the CEC to consider the interim application for appropriate recommendation,” the court said.

According to the NGO, the JSW had received 12.97 lakh metric tonnes of illegal iron ore by overloading, that caused a loss of Rs 324 crore to the state exchequer.

As quid pro quo, the JSW through its subsidiary South West Mining Company made payments to close relatives of then chief minister of Karnataka (Yeddyurappa),” the application alleged.

“Powerful corporate entities such as Adani Enterprises and others of Belikere Port are involved in the scam relating to the theft of 5.5 lakh tonnes of iron ore,” it was alleged.

The application also allegedly links jailed former Karnataka Minister G Janardhana Reddy’s Associated Mining Company with Adani Enterprises, relying upon the Lokayukta report.

The NGO referred to a list of names of officers prepared by Lokayukta, indicating that they had received bribes.

During the hearing, the senior counsel appearing for different companies, objected to the CEC’s final report putting them into ‘A,’ ‘B’ and ‘C’ category depending upon the alleged illegalities resorted to by them. The bench, also comprising Justices Aftab Alam and Swatanter Kumar, said they would not hear individual cases.

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