The much awaited final report of the Lokayukta on illegal mining, which is expected to determine the fate of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, will be submitted to the government later this afternoon.
Speaking to mediapersons, Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde said the Lokayukta registrar Moosa Kunhi Nayar Moole will be submitting the voluminous report to Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath at 2.30 pm at his office in the Vidhana Soudha. The content of the report would be disclosed to the media at 4.30 P.M. at the Lokayukta office, he added.
Mr. Hegde said the report is “not less than 12,000 pages”, including the annexures. The main body of the report is about 450 pages, which includes recommendations and observations, he said. “A significant component of the report,” he added, “is about the threats faced by the investigative officers of Lokayukta during the probe.”
Mr. Hegde said he hoped the new Lokayukta, Justice Shivaraj V. Patil, will take forward the work done by his team. “A copy of the final report would be sent to the Supreme Court, in case we are asked,” he said. “I hope Supreme Court will take cognisance of the matter”, he added.
He said the State Government would have three months to act on his report. “I do not expect the Government to act on the report,’ he remarked.
“They (the State government) took the first (interim) report (submitted in December 2008) but did not take action,” Mr. Hegde said.
The report has pegged the loss to the state exchequer due to illegal mining between March 2009 and April 2010 at more than Rs 1,800 crore.
Mr. Hegde, a member of Lokpal bill drafting committee, declined to talk about contents of the report, which has indicted Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, four Cabinet Ministers, and former Chief Minister and JDS leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, among others, and more than 500 officials, particularly in mineral-rich Bellary district.
Asked if he would also submit the report to the Supreme Court, Mr. Hegde said the Apex Court had not sought it. Last week, Mr. Hegde had said the “Supreme Court is my only hope.”
He said leakage of the report does not mean it has lost its “significance”. It’s just that somebody got it in advance. “It’s not (like) leak of question paper (in examination).”
Mr. Hegde said Lokayukta officials might have displeased a number of people (by probing into their illegal affairs) and there is a possibility that their future could be in jeopardy.
Asked if he has a “sense of bitterness” as he leaves office, Mr. Hegde said, “...I have a sense of bitterness when it comes to leakage ...beyond that...no”.
The report talks in detail about iron ore exports, those engaged in it, illegalities and their value, among others, he said. Stressing upon the need to ban iron ore export, Mr. Hegde said the country does not stand to gain by these shipments.
Domestic companies engaged in value addition activities should procure ores only to the extent of their requirement, which will give the Union government central excise revenues and VAT to the States, he said.
Keywords: illegal mining