The Karnataka High Court on Friday ordered that the Lokayukta could investigate the case against S M Krishna to the extent of dereservation of forest blocks, a decision he is said to have taken in the year 2003 when he was Chief Minister of Karnataka. Justice N Ananda who also passed an order on H D Kumaraswamy ordered that the Lokayukta could probe the allegation that he had shown favour to a company called Sai Venkateshwara Minerals.
This would mean that the stay on the investigation against the two former CM’s has been lifted and the Lokayukta police can probe the matter.
The case to be probed against S M Krishna would involve the dereservation of 34 forest blocks which is said to have facilitated illegal mining.
A private complaint had been filed against S M Krishna, H D Kumaraswamy and Dharam Singh under various sections including the Prevention of Corruption Act, Forest Conservation Act, Forest Act and Minerals and Metals Regulation and Development Act (MMRDA) and IPC. The complainant T Abraham had alleged that Krishna, who was the Chief Minister from October 1999 to May 2004, and Dharam Singh and Kumaraswamy permitted illegal mining for pecuniary gains.
Abraham, a city-based social activist and a businessman, had submitted that his complaint was based on the report on illegal mining presented to the government by then Lokayukta Santosh Hegde in August.
When the complaint was take up first by the Lokayukta court, it had ordered investigation of the same. The police then filed a FIR after which the accused persons in the case approached the High Court and later obtained a stay order.
Justice Ananda also ordered that no investigation against Krishna would take place in case of the Mysore Minerals case. The grant of permission to mine in this case was questioned but the court observed that this decision falls under the Companies Act and would not come under the purview of the Chief Minister.
In so far as Kumaraswamy’s case the court ordered that the 150 crore bribery charge made by Janardhan Reddy shall not be probed. This was ordered in view of Reddy withdrawing an earlier petition he had filed in connection before the High Court in connection with the same case.