On the orders of the Special Lokayukta Court here, the Lokayukta police on Thursday filed FIR against three former Chief Ministers as well as 11 senior civil servants of Karnataka.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, and MPs N. Dharam Singh and H.D. Kumaraswamy will be investigated by the Lokayukta police in a case in which they have been accused of complicity in the alleged multi-crore mining scam.
The investigating agency will also probe the role of one IPS and 10 IAS officers.
With this, the three former Chief Ministers join a long list of politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party who are currently being tried for corruption.
The former Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, Home Minister R. Ashok, Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani, Housing Minister V. Somanna, the former Minister, Katta Subramanya Naidu, and MLAs S. Muniraju and Y. Sampangi are facing cases of corruption in the Lokayukta Court.
Thursday's FIR is the result of a private complaint filed on November 29 by Abraham T.J., an RTI and Dalit activist, who alleged that policy decisions taken by Mr. Krishna between 1999 and 2004, and later by his two successors, to de-reserve forest land led to the State's mineral wealth being plundered by private companies.
On December 3, the court referred the case to the Lokayukta police for investigation. It set January 6 as the deadline for submission of the findings.
The FIR has been filed under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Forests (Conservation) Act, 1980, the Karnataka Forest Act, 1963 and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957. Sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to destruction of evidence, criminal breach of trust, forgery and criminal conspiracy have also been invoked.
Mr. Abraham's complaint is primarily based on the two reports on illegal mining submitted to the State government by the Lokayukta when the former Supreme Court judge, Justice N. Santosh Hegde, headed it.
‘Deliberate and ill-intentioned'
Mr. Abraham, who represented himself in court, contended that these policy decisions were not merely misguided but were also deliberate and ill-intentioned acts of “commission and omission” to cause gains for mining corporations at the cost of the State exchequer.