Officers, including those of IAS, IFS cadres, facing charges
The State Cabinet on Friday is likely to decide on initiating legal and other punitive action against officers, including those in the IAS and IFS cadres, depending upon the gravity of the alleged offences, connivance and irregularities committed by them in connection with illegal mining episode.
According to sources, Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda is likely to seek the approval of his Cabinet colleagues while accepting the K. Jairaj Committee report containing recommendations to initiate steps against officials charged with connivance in illegal mining, ore transportation and export.
Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath had informed the Lokayukta that the Cabinet would discuss its final report on Friday.
Meanwhile, the sources said, the Cabinet has on its agenda a subject for framing rules for the Karnataka Quarry and Stone/Jelly Crushers Ordinance promulgated on September 7, 2011. It envisages granting permission for conducting stone and jelly crushing activity in quarries within three months and payment of compensation/relief to the people to be affected by it. It also envisages punishment to contractors for violation of rules with a minimum of three years imprisonment or a fine of Rs. 2 lakh or both.
The sources also said that the Cabinet was bound to accept the Jairaj Committee report, as Governor H.R. Bhardwaj had initiated action leading to the resignation of the B.S. Yeddyurappa Ministry and start procedures to extend it to officers involved in illegal mining. The Cabinet will send a copy of the report to the Union Government as required under the rules.
The Cabinet will discuss ways to tighten procedures for preventing illegal mining and for providing further investigation based on the Lokayukta report, including setting up of a special investigation team to take up the task. The sources said that the Government was duty-bound to take further action against erring officials without waiting for the Supreme Court to issue any directions, as the former was competent to do it.
The question of harping on clarifications the government sought from the Lokayukta does not carry any importance, as there was no Lokayukta in place, and it had no relevance as the Ministers, including the Bellary brothers, allegedly involved in illegal mining were no longer in the Cabinet.