State govt gets 4 weeks to reply to Krishna's plea

The Supreme Court on Friday gave four weeks time to Karnataka government to file its reply on External Affairs Minister S M Krishna’s plea challenging the probe against him for allegedly allowing illegal mining in forest areas during his tenure as the chief minister.

A bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and S S Nijjar adjourned the matter after allowing the plea made by the counsel representing the State government, seeking further time to submit its response.

The apex court had on January 27 stayed the probe initiated against Krishna on the bas­is of Lokayukta report, ter­ming the proceedings “premature”. Krishna had on January 24 approached the apex court challenging the Karnataka High Court’s order allowing Lokayukta probe against him for the alleged illegal mining during his chief ministership between 1999 and 2004.

The minister had claimed that the de-reservation of the forest mineral wealth was carried out as per the mineral policy of the central government.

T J Abraham, a Bangalore resident, who filed the complaint against Krishna, had on Thursday filed an application before the Attorney General G E Vahanvati urging him to recommend criminal prosecution of the minister for alleged irregularities in allotment of forest areas to private persons.

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