The Damocles Sword of the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) is hanging over the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is fighting a bitter battle for power. The CEC is hearing a petition asking for a CBI inquiry into the alleged illegal mining case in which the former Chief Minister is an accused.

The CEC has asked the former Chief Minister to appear either in person or through authorised representative before it on Tuesday. The CEC is examining the illegal mining issue and whether a CBI probe is necessary against Mr. Yeddyurappa and his family members. It is also inquiring into illegalities allegedly committed by corporate giants JSW Limited and Adani Enterprises.

Legal battle

The CEC's notice to Mr. Yeddyurappa is the result of a sustained legal battle by Dharwad-based Samaj Parivartana Samudaya (SPS) against illegal mining in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The SPS succeeded in convincing the CEC on the extent and nature of illegal mining in Karnataka, which resulted in the apex court banning export of iron ore as well as suspension of mining leases for violation of norms. Now, the NGO is taking the issue to its logical end in an attempt to bring the culprits to book.

The CEC held its first meeting on February 18 at which the SPS submitted a 113- page document which allegedly established the powerful nexus of corporates, miners, officials and people's representatives, including Mr. Yeddyurappa.

Following this, the CEC issued notices to all concerned parties to appear before it on Tuesday. Samudaya founder-president S.R. Hiremath, the petitioner in the case, asserted that enough evidence was produced to establish favours doled out by Mr. Yeddyurappa as Chief Minister to mining lessees.

In the 60-month tenure of Mr. Yeddyurappa as Deputy Chief Minister (in the JDS-BJP coalition) and later as Chief Minister, he and his family members had allegedly amassed assets worth Rs. 339.57-crore disproportionate to their known source of income, through the process of denotification, awarding government contracts and change in land use.