Guv to send report on mining scam to President

Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj on Sunday said he would send a report to President Pratibha Patil once the Lokayukta`s report on mining scam.

Bangalore: Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj
on Sunday said he would send a report to President Pratibha Patil
once the Lokayukta`s report on mining scam, that has indicted
Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, "comes on record".

Asked by reporters if the mining scam report is a "fit
case" for imposition of President`s Rule in Karnataka, he
said: "I have no request from either side (ruling and
opposition) that this warrants any President`s rule or

He said the report, yet to be submitted to the Government,
but was leaked last week, has come into public domain through
the media that "this (indictment) has happened".

The report has indicted Yeddyurappa and four Ministers,
among others in the scam, saying it has caused a loss of Rs
1,800 crore to the exchequer in 14 months from March 2009.

"Let these things (the mining report) come on record. Then
I can express my opinion to the President (Pratibha Patil)
which can`t be leaked to the press," Bhardwaj, who has had a
running battle with the Chief Minister, said.

On Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde`s position that he
would give the report only to the Government because the
mining probe was referred by it, and not the Governor,
Bhardwaj said: "I have never asked him to give me a report. If
he chooses, definitely I said, I am the competent authority to
deal with the Government".

Asked if he would take a "proactive role" and take
"measure" vis-a-vis the mining report, he said: "We have not
reached that stage. Lokayukta is cognizant of this matter".

He said the media should appreciate his position as they
(the State Government) had already made him controversial for
no reason.

"You (media) are the best judge. Media is the mirror of the
society. I have taken earliest the matter of (illegal mining)
and how Supreme Court is cognizant and I hope Karnataka and
Andhra (Pradesh) states are under the (Supreme Court) scanner
(for illegal mining)," Bhardwaj said.

‘Can`t intervene in phone-tapping issue’

Governor HR Bhardwaj indicated he cannot intervene on the issue of phone tapping of Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde.

He said the phone-tapping is a matter between the "aggrieved party" (Hegde) and the people against whom grievances have been made.

"They are very responsible people who tried to influence him or tried to tap his telephone. Telephone tapping cannot be done by you and me. So I have no role in this matter," Bhardwaj told reporters in response to questions.

But the Governor said if Lokayukta wants him (Bhardwaj) to do anything (on this issue) he has promised him that he would whatever is possible. "That stage (Hegde has not requested the Governor to intervene) has not come", Bhardwaj added.

The disclosure of the Lokayukta last week that his phone had been tapped and coming as it did after his second and final report on the mining scam in Karnataka was leaked, has raised a political storm, with Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa
and four ministers, among others, being indicted.

The Karnataka government has asserted it had not ordered tapping of telephone of the Lokayukta, who yesterday hinted at the possible involvement of a political party behind it.

Asked if he is convinced that the state government is behind his phone-tapping, Hegde, a former Supreme Court Judge, had said: "I would not say Government; but political party might be there (behind the phone-tapping)...I don`t know, that
I don`t want to comment...I don`t want to talk about it. I don`t want to join issue on phone tapping".


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