SIT told not to arrest HDK till June 28

SIT told not to arrest HDK till June 28
The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday extended its interim order directing the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing illegal mining cases not to arrest former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy till June 28, the next date of hearing.

Special Public Prosecutor for the Lokayukta’s SIT P Govindan informed the court that they need to do custodial interrogation of Kumaraswamy in the Janthakal mining case. He said that the SIT would submit a case diary which has confidential information that requires Kumaraswamy’s custody.

Justice Rathnakala asked him if the offence committed is economic in nature, why the high court has to come in between the trial court proceedings. He said he will submit the case diary of the case in the next hearing and sought adjournment. The judge adjourned the next hearing to June 28.

Govindan said that Kumaraswamy used the office of the chief minister to pressure and influence an officer to pass certain orders. He said that Kumaraswamy had issued an ultimatum to accused IAS officer Gangaram Baderiya, who was then posted as director, Mines and Geology, to issue mining licence in two hours to Janthakal Enterprises, a company owned by mining baron Vinod Goel.

The SIT has registered a case against Kumaraswamy after he was named by Baderiya. He has been booked for cheating, forgery, criminal breach of trust and giving false information, criminal conspiracy under the IPC sections. Kumaraswamy has also been booked under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988  and The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

Kumaraswamy’s advocate Hashmath Pasha submitted that same allegations were made against his client in two other complaints.  He said three separate complaints have been registered, of which one  has been quashed by the high court. He contended that when Kumaraswamy was the chief minister, he had not pressured Baderiya to issue mining licence in favour of Goel. 

He said iron ore was legally extracted since the Forest department denied permission to lift the ore that was mined. It is neither lifted nor sold and is still lying in the mining area of Chikkjajur in Chitradurga district.

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