Mining scam: SC orders SIT probe against Dharam Singh, HDK

Apex court to monitor investigation against two ex-CMs

Mining scam: SC orders SIT probe against Dharam Singh, HDK

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Karnataka Lokayukta police to conduct a “thorough” probe into the alleged role of former chief ministers N Dharam Singh and H D Kumaraswamy and others in de-reservation of 11,797 square kilometres of forest in Ballari and other areas, leading to large-scale illegal iron ore mining.

The apex court also decided to monitor the probe and sought a report from the SIT after three months.

However, another former chief minister S M Krishna, who recently quit the Congress and joined the BJP, got relief as the apex court said that the investigation against him “shall remain stayed” as directed on January 27, 2012 and reiterated later.

A bench of Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman granted three months time to the SIT to file the report before it after probing the roles of Dharam Singh and Kumaraswamy and several IAS officers.

The court also restrained all other courts including the high court from passing any order in the matter and said, “We will keep it pending and we want to monitor it.” During the day-long hearing, the court said it wanted to see “some action” in the case as there was “no action” taken on the reports of the Lokayukta.

Abraham T J, a Bengaluru-based activist, was earlier told by the Supreme Court to bring out the precise paragraphs of the report prepared by the then Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde, indicting the then chief ministers and bureaucrats in de-reservation of 11,797 square kilometres of forest in Ballari district, resulting in huge losses to the government.

‘Will cooperate’
Dharam Singh on Thursday said that he would cooperate with the SIT, which would
be probing into the mining scam.

Speaking to journalists in Bengaluru, who sought his reaction to the Supreme Court’s direction, Dharam Singh said that Justice Santosh Hegde has already cleared him of the charges in the illegal mining cases.

On Wednesday, JD(S) state president Kumaraswamy said he welcomed the apex court direction to the SIT to submit its report within three months. He said he would cooperate with the investigating agency.

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