The Central Bureau of Investigation probe into alleged illegal extraction, transportation and export of iron ore, following a Supreme Court order, will help in bringing mine lessees, transporters, stevedores and large corporate entities, “which avoided investigation”, to book, said S.R. Hiremath, president of Samaj Parivartan Samudaya.
Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, Mr. Hiremath described the court order as the “most comprehensive one referring Lokayukta and CEC reports on the one hand, and very specific and effective in terms of the tasks to be investigated by the CBI, by freeing it from any interference on the other.”
The order, according to Mr. Hiremath, took serious view of illegal export of 50.79 lakh tonnes of ore, especially the 8 lakh tonnes from Belekere port.
The CEC had provided enough evidence on the alleged involvement of mining companies, transporters, stevedores and large corporate entities in illegal extraction and transportation of iron ore from the forests of Karnataka to Belekere port.
He quoted the CEC report as saying that 73 exporters have exported 5 lakh tonnes of iron ore illegally from the ports in Karnataka between January 2009 and May 2010.
Leading exporters such as Integrated Logistics Company Limited, Dream Logistics Company (India) Private Limited, S.B. Logistics and Sree Mallikarjuna Shipping Company Private Limited were indicted by the CEC for exporting ore illegally from Belekere port.
“These companies belonged to leaders from major political parties from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
The CBI would probe into the role of Swastik Steels Private Limited, Swastik Cement and Minerals, SMSK Mineral Trading Company, Eagle Traders, Manjunatheshwara Minerals, Safia Minerals, Gem Laboratories Private Limited, Greentex Mining Industries Limited, which have been exporting iron ore from Belekere port, in the alleged illegalities, he said.
The court has ordered preliminary inquiry in respect of iron ore exported by 18 exporters from Belekere port. The list of such exporters includes Adani Enterprises Limited, Salgaocar Mining Industries Private limited, VSL Mining Company, MSPL Limited, Mineral Enterprises Limited, Sree Mallikarjuna Shipping Private Limited, Bharat Mines and Minerals and Kirloskar Ferrous Industries Limited, he said.
The CBI would submit a report of its preliminary investigation within six weeks to comply with the court order, he added.