Lokayukta SIT to probe IAS, IPS officers' role in illegal mining

The State Cabinet on Monday decided to refer to the Lokayukta Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the alleged role played by seven serving and retired IAS and IPS officers in illegal mining.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said the Lokayukta in its report on illegal mining had named IAS/IPS officers who, when posted to Mysore Minerals Limited (MML), entered into illegal contracts that led to losses to the tune of Rs 642 crore to the State exchequer.

The officers include V Umesh, Mahendra Jain, (all IAS -serving), K S Manjunath, G V Kongwad, I R Perumal, D S Ashwath (IAS retired) and Jija M Harisingh (IPS- retired). The SIT will now further probe the alleged role played by them and submit a report to the government.

The Cabinet also decided that it had no objection to the Centre taking action against Babu Rao Mudabi, V Chandrashekar, M K Baladeva Krishna (IAS retired) and IPS officer D C Rajappa who are facing disproportionate assets cases against them following raids by the Lokayukya.

The Cabinet decided to make amendments to the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, and Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964, to simplify the process of purchasing agricultural land by private parties.

Section 109 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act that provides for purchase of agricultural land by private parties for non-agriculture purposes will be amended and also Section 95 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act that provides for conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes will be amended.

The Cabinet also decided to form district and divisional committees to undertake a survey of deemed, protected and private forests across the State.

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