File on CID inquiry into stone quarrying gathers dust

Home department goes slow in Kanakapura case
Last Updated 14 October 2013, 20:15 IST

It has been over six months since the then principal secretary to the department of Forests and Environment approved a recommendation to hand over investigations into the illegal stone quarrying of granite blocks in the forest areas of Kanakapura taluk in Ramanagara district to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). 

But till date, the file has not moved beyond the office of the Under Secretary (Crimes) in the Home department.

On March 19, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and head of the Forest Force sent a letter to the principal secretary to the department of Forests and Environment, seeking the transfer of the 143 cases booked by the Ramanagara division regarding mining/quarrying in notified forest area to the CID. The list of offenders against whom charge sheets have been framed include D K Suresh, the Bangalore Rural MP and brother of Congress MLA D K Shivakumar. 

The PCCF’s letter to the principal secretary said, “These cases not only pertain to violation of Forest Act, but also involve offences related to the violation of the Mines and Mineral (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957, and certain Sections of the IPC like 379, 120B, 420, forgery, etc. and also evasion of taxes and duties. Therefore, these cases need to be probed by an agency having the power to investigate the offence covered under the IPC, IT laws. These cases are fit to be investigated by the CID or any other independent agency duly empowered.”

The principal secretary convened a meeting on April 5 with his officials and accepted the recommendations to hand over the cases to the CID.  In the meeting, it was agreed that the Forest department did not have the jurisdiction and it was suitable to hand over the case to the CID. It also recorded that in 16 cases, subsequent to the High Court quashing the petitions of the accused and allowing the Forest department to proceed in accordance with law, there was a need to re-investigate the matter.

With all these observations, a file was dispatched by the Forest department. It was received by the Home department on June 4. Since then, the file has not moved beyond the tables of the Home department officials.

According to government website, Sachivalaya Vahini, since June 4, the file on illegal quarrying in Kanakapura has moved from the Section Officer (Crimes-A) to the Additional Secretary (Law and Order), to Jyothiprakash Mirji, Principal Secretary (Prisons, Crime and Auxiliary Services) and then to the table of the Under Secretary (Crimes).

Mirji was unavailable for comment. The Director General of Police for CID, Bipin Gopalakrishna, said there was no communication to him on this matter. 

(Published 14 October 2013, 20:15 IST)

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