The State government had asked the Lokayukta to assess the extent of illegal mining in Bellary, but as the Supreme Court is looking into the matter, we have told the government that it cannot be done now, said Karnataka Lokayukta Y. Bhaskar Rao here on Friday.

Responding to a question on the steps taken by the Lokayukta for the implementation of the report on illegal mining, Mr. Rao said the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee and Central Bureau of Investigation were handling the issue and the Lokayukta was not involved.

“The State government had asked us to assess and value the exact extent of land illegally taken for mining. But we have told it that we cannot do it till the Supreme Court gives us a direction,” Mr. Rao, who was appointed Lokayukta in February, said.

Conviction rate

Mr. Rao said the Lokayukta would focus on strengthening the evidence collection systems of the Lokyukta police. “The conviction rate in the State is around 38 per cent, and this can be higher. This is because, sometimes, witnesses backtrack or evidence is not collected properly,” he said. Bangalore had the highest conviction rate at 66 per cent, Mr. Rao said.

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