Second and final report was submitted on July 27 last year

Friday marks the first anniversary of the submission of the second and final report of the Lokayukta on illegal mining, and yet, there is no sign of the Karnataka Government acting on it.

It was on July 27 last year that the Karnataka Lokayukta submitted its 25,000-page report, which has had huge political implications for the State, including the resignation of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Besides putting the total loss to the exchequer for the period between 2006 and 2010 at Rs.16,085 crore, the report accused Mr. Yeddyurappa’s family of receiving Rs. 30 crore from a company “for reasons other than genuine”.

The report named Reddy brothers (G. Janardhan Reddy and G. Karunakara Reddy), the former Minister B. Sriramalu and the former Chief Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, among others. The report has also named over 700 officials of the government, accusing them of conniving in illegal mining scam.

The government has only tried to push the report under the carpet citing “technical reasons.” Though the government appointed a committee under the chairmanship of bureaucrat K. Jayaraj to look into the allegations against over 700 senior bureaucrats, the report exonerated all the senior officials and fixed the responsibility on the lower rung officials.

However, the government was forced to act on certain aspects, when the Supreme Court took cognisance of the report, based on the findings of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) appointed by it.

The State government declared that it will take action against the officials indicted in the report and forwarded it to the Lokayukta office seeking some clarifications. Since then, the Lokayukta institution is waiting for a new head.

The Karnataka High Court on Monday chided the government over the “inordinate delay” in appointing the Lokayukta. However, the government seems to be in no hurry to appoint the Lokayukta and has decided to seek more time citing a pending appeal in the Supreme Court.

Speaking to The Hindu, the former Lokyaukta N. Santosh Hegde said that the government was not interested in implementing the report. Though the first report was submitted in 2008, except action against one official, nothing has been done so far.

Expressing his concern over the government’s apathy in implementing the report, petitioner in illegal mining in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Vishnu Kamath, said: “Whatever action has been taken so far is because of the intervention of the judiciary.” Instead of implementing the Lokayukta report, the government has been weakening the institution by way of transfer of honest officials, he added.