The Supreme Court on Friday asked the CBI to go after owners of the companies involved in illegal mining in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh instead of restricting its investigation to their employees.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, after going through the CBI status report submitted before it, asked the probe agency to submit a more comprehensive report and queried about the owners of Associated Mining Company (AMC) and Deccan Mining Syndicate (DMS) who are allegedly involved in illegally routing their minerals through Obulapuram in Andhra Pradesh.

In the last hearing the court had asked the investigating agency to probe the “linkage” between mining activities in Karnataka’s Bellary district and Ananthpur in Andhra Pradesh allegedly involving the Reddy brothers.

The court had said that CBI investigation was needed as it was prima facie satisfied with the materials placed before it that the iron ore extracted by AMC and DMS, was being illegally routed through Obulapuram in Andhra Pradesh.

AMC is owned by BJP leader and former Karnataka tourism minister Janardhana Reddy, and his wife and DMS by another mining baron S. M. Jain.

Both the companies, according to the report of the apex court-appointed Central Empowered Committee, were involved in illegal mining in the lease area of 10.12 hectares in the village Jaisingapur village and there were irregularities in renewal of lease.

Keywords: illegal mining