The Government in its statement to the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has asserted that the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa did not play any role in influencing the Centre to grant mining leases to South West Mining Limited (SWML) and JSW Steel Limited in 2007.

In its statement, the Government testified that the applications seeking mining lease from SWML and JSW Steel Limited were considered by the government and recommended to the Centre in September 2007. “During the period when mining leases were recommended, Mr. Yeddyurappa was neither Chief Minister nor the Minister for Mines and he had no role to play in these aspects,” the statement said.

The Government made its submission to the CEC, which heard the parties concerned, following a direction from the Supreme Court. The Samaj Parivartan Samudaya, petitioner in the illegal mining case in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, sought extension of the scope of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe to cover the “serious illegalities committed by top politicians, including Mr. Yeddyurappa and major corporate groups including JSW Steel Limited and Adani Enterprises”.

The Supreme Court had asked CEC to verify whether a CBI probe was necessary against Mr. Yeddyurappa and his family members following the SPS petition and make “appropriate recommendations” in two weeks. The time-frame fixed by the court had ended on February 24 and the CEC may submit its recommendation any time, said SPS founder-president S.R. Hiremath.

On Wednesday, the Karnataka High Court quashed a portion of the Lokayukta report accusing Mr. Yeddyurappa of corruption in grant of mining leases in a favour of two companies.

However, describing the government's response as “lame defence”, petitioner Vishnu Kamath noted that the statement had not referred to the alleged receipt of Rs. 30 crore from SWML by Prerana Trust owned by family members of Mr. Yeddyurappa and his kin.

Adani's offence

With regard to allegations related to the role of Adani Enterprises in the theft of 5.5 lakh tonnes of iron ore from Belikere port, the government stated that “as Adani Enterprises Limited (AEL) has committed offences punishable under various sections of Indian Penal Code, charge sheets have been filed against AEL and other responsible persons of this company”

Keeping in view the gravity of the matter, the government handed over the investigation of the theft case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). “The investigation revealed that the AEL has facilitated 30 exporters to transport the seized 3.78 lakh tonnes of iron ore colluding with the Port Conservator and respective export firms”, the statement said.

  • CEC may submit its recommendation to the Supreme Court any time

  • ‘Adani Enterprises facilitated 30 exporters to transport the seized 3.78 lakh tonnes of ore'