After FIR, Krishna pins hopes on judiciary

Last Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 21:15

New Delhi: As a case was filed against him in
Karnataka, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Thursday said he
had no role in issuance of licences for mining as Chief
Minister and expressed confidence that the judiciary will put
to rest "unholy attempts" at his character assassination.

"I find from media reports that a private complaint has
been filed in the Hon`ble Court dealing with Lokayukta cases
in Bangalore. I am given to understand that allegations have
been made against me, two other ex-Chief Ministers and a
number of officers," he said in a statement.
He said while his legal team would take "appropriate
action at the appropriate time", he considered it necessary to
clarify matters as "silence on my part would give rise to
speculation".

"I wish to point out that I never retained the portfolio
of Mines and Geology. Further, to the best of my knowledge, no
mining licence was issued during my tenure," he said.

"Even if such licences were issued, this would have been
done by the competent authority of the Mines and Geology
Department," the Minister said, adding "in view of the above
there is no wrongful loss to government. Consequently, there
can be no wrongful gain."

Krishna, who had served as Karnataka Chief Minister from
1999 to 2003, said "there has been no de-reservation of
forests, as being incorrectly reported."

He said the cabinet had sometime in 2003 decided to
de-reserve mineral wealth for mining. "Government is fully
empowered to take such a decision as per the Minerals
Concession Rules, 1960," he said.

Krishna recalled that a gazette notification was issued
pursuant to this cabinet decision which clearly states that
applicants for mining leases have to obtain `no objection
certificates` from the Forest Department.
"When a gazette notification has been issued, it is
abundantly clear that nothing has been done in secret," the
Minister said.

An FIR was registered against Krishna and two other
former Karnatka chief ministers by the Lokayukta Police today
on a private complaint alleging that they facilitated illegal
mining during their tenure.

"Everyone is aware that the then Lok Ayukta Mr. Justice
Santosh Hegde conducted a very detailed and comprehensive
inquiry into the issue of mining from 1999 to 2010 which
covered my tenure as Chief Minister from 1999 to 2004,"
Krishna said, adding "there is no indictment of me anywhere in
the Lokayukta report."

The fact that Justice Santosh Hegde has gone on record in
public only further confirms this, he said.

"I fail to comprehend, in the light of the above, the
bonafides of the allegations. Attempts at character
assassination is one of the most despicable of human
behavioural patterns," Krishna said.

"I am more than certain that the judiciary would
vindicate me and put to rest once and for all such unholy
attempts," the minister added.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 21:15

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