The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a CBI enquiry into the former Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa for illegalities in mining activities, in which he allegedly used his public office to grant undue favours to mining companies, who in turn made several large “donations” to a trust maintained by his immediate family.
Taking note of the complete failure of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in protecting forests and minerals from being illegally mined and exploited, the Special Forest Bench headed by Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia observed: “Wherever and whenever the state fails to perform its duties, the court shall step in to ensure that rule of law prevails over the abuse of the process of law.”
The Bench said, “The CBI shall undertake investigation in a most fair, proper and unbiased manner uninfluenced by the stature of the persons and the political or corporate clout, involved in the present case.”
The court gave the CBI three months to submit a report.
A special investigation team will have to be headed by an officer not below the rank of Additional Director-General of Police or Additional Commissioner.
All other judicial proceedings related to the case were stayed and the Andhra Pradesh government as well as other State agencies in Karnataka were asked to cooperate with the CBI in the investigation.
“It will be open to the CBI to examine and inspect the records of any connected matter pending before any investigating agency or any court,” said the Bench.
“The basic purpose of an investigation is to bring out the truth by conducting a fair and proper investigation, in accordance with law, and ensure that the guilty are punished,” it noted.
Accepts panel report
The April 20 report of the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee, which implicated Mr. Yeddyurappa, said there was due cause to include him in a CBI probe. This was accepted by the court.
Mining companies were also implicated in the report, which stated that they were the recipients of illegally mined material and that there was proof that undue favours were shown to them by Mr. Yeddyurappa.
The matter was posted for further hearing on August 30.
Keywords: Karnataka mining scam