With the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) impleading application filed in the Special Leave Petition (SLP) of former chief minister S M Krishna, the contents of the Lokayukta report part-1 may resurface.
Part-1 of the report on illegal mining, which mentions hundreds of crore worth of irregularities in the state-owned Mysore Minerals Limited (MML), has remained unprobed. Incidentally, the allegations against three former chief ministers — S M Krishna, N Dharam Singh and H D Kumaraswamy — are taken from part-1 of the report.
The contention of the SIT before the apex court is that its two cases against Kumaraswamy were stayed after Krishna filed an SLP.
In August 2015, the SIT had arrested Kumaraswamy in both the cases but released him the same day on an anticipatory bail granted to him by the Lokayukta special court. The FIRs pertain to illegalities in granting mining leases to Sri Sai Venkateshwara Minerals and Janthakal Enterprises, both firms owned by one Vinod Goel. The case pertaining to the illegal renewal of Janthakal Enterprises’ licence is in part-1 while the other case forms part-2.
The state government did not include the major illegalities mentioned in part-1 in the terms of reference given to the SIT (mining). Part-1 had named five IAS officers and an IPS officer, who were managing directors of the MML, as responsible for causing a loss of Rs 643 crore to the exchequer. Only an FIR registered by the SIT in connection with the MML with reference to the sale of waste dumps is mentioned in part-2.
Meanwhile, an interlocutory application before the Supreme Court’s green bench filed by Samaj Parivartan Samudaya has quoted contents of part-1 stating that eight companies — belonging to Energy Minister D K Shivakumar and his MP-brother D K Suresh — purchased iron ore from the MML at a throwaway price and caused a loss of Rs 800 crore to the exchequer.
What are the allegations?
The SLP before the Supreme Court is a private complaint which made specific allegations against three former chief ministers, as stated in part-1 of the Lokayukta report. The private complaint alleged that forest areas were de-reserved for mining during the tenure of S M Krishna, the transport of iron ore was allowed during Dharam Singh’s regime, which caused a loss of Rs 31 crore, and a mining firm’s licence was illegal renewed with retrospective effect when Kumaraswamy was chief minister. All these allegations are in part-1.