Govt may attach properties of 77 firms for illegally exporting ore

Govt may attach properties of 77 firms for illegally exporting ore

The state government is likely to attach properties of 77 companies that have illegally exported iron ore from the New Mangaluru and Karwar ports without permits.

The Cabinet sub-committee set up to oversee implementation of the Lokayukta report on illegal mining on Saturday decided to recommend to the Cabinet to attach properties of these firms under section 25 of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957. The value of the properties to be attached is estimated at Rs 12,000 crore, official sources in the government said.

The sub-committee, headed by Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister H K Patil, has already decided to recommend an SIT probe into the illegal export of iron ore from the two ports. The move has come in the wake of the CBI recently informing the state government that it will not be able to conduct further investigation into the issue.

Official sources said a total of 77,80,119 tonnes of iron ore was illegally exported by these companies. Though the CBI has investigated these cases, it has failed to arrive at a conclusion and take further action, the sources added.

The sub-committee will recommend to the Cabinet to issue an executive order for attaching the properties, spread across Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. If the Cabinet gives its nod, a notification will be issued listing out names of all the accused, about 800 of them, and the properties will be attached, the sources pointed out.

Officials of the departments concerned, including Home, Mines and Geology, DPAR and Forest will be asked to file applications before the jurisdictional sessions magistrate courts to seize the properties. The seizures can happen only after obtaining the court permission.