Mining case: court reject's HDK's anticipatory bail

Mining case: court reject's HDK's anticipatory bail

 A Lokayukta special court rejected an anticipatory bail application filed by former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy in an illegal mining case. Following this, Kumaraswamy moved the High Court of Karnataka seeking bail. The matter is yet to be listed for hearing.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) which is probing illegal mining cases in the state, had registered a case against Kumaraswamy based on the statement by senior IAS officer Gangaram Baderiya.

The SIT had arrested Baderiya for according permission to Janthakal Enterprises in 2006 based on forged letters purportedly issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. During questioning, Baderiya had stated that he had accorded permission on instructions from the then chief minister Kumaraswamy.

When the SIT summoned Kumaraswamy to appear before the investigating officer, he had filed a regular anticipatory bail besides seeking interim anticipatory bail. An ACMM court had in May 2017 granted Kumaraswamy interim anticipatory bail. 

Lokayukta special court judge Gopal on Tuesday rejected Kumaraswamy’s anticipatory bail. The special public prosecutor appearing for the SIT contended that further interrogation of Kumaraswamy was required in the wake of Baderiya's statement. The SIT also apprised the court 10 days ago that it has included Kumaraswamy as an accused in the case.

Sources in the SIT said that no fresh notice has been issued to Kumaraswamy to appear before the investigating officer. However, he may be asked to appear for further questioning, an official said.

Meanwhile, former minister G Janardhana Reddy on Tuesday submitted evidence to the SIT in support of his allegation made 10 years ago, that Kumaraswamy had received Rs 150-crore kickback from mining companies in Ballari. After submitting the evidence at the SIT office, Reddy said he has submitted a pen drive and several bank statements to substantiate his allegations.

‘Pressure from CM’s office’

The case relates to granting permission to Janthakal Enterprises, a company owned by mining baron Vinod Goel, to lift iron ore on the basis of two forged letters of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). The Lokayukta report on illegal mining (part-2) had stated that Janthakal Enterprises submitted forged MoEF letters of no objection to lift and transport iron ore in old dumps in Chitradurga.

A note by Gangaram Baderiya before the permission was accorded states that there was “tremendous pressure from the Chief Minister's Office as well as the chief minister''. The note also stated that the chief minister “has given an ultimatum that the permission should be given within two hours, without loss of time''.

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