New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed CBI to register cases against the iron ore exporters who had exported more than 50,000 MT of ores without permits in Karnataka and against whom the probe agency has already carried out a preliminary inquiry.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is permitted to file criminal cases against iron ore exporters who had exported more than 50,000 MT of iron ore, said the green bench of Justice AK Patnaik, Justice SS Nijjar and Justice Ranjan Gogoi permitting the probe agency`s plea.
The court also allowed the probe agency to refer to the Karnataka government a plea for action against iron ore exporters who had exported less than 50,000 MT of the ores without having permit.
The court directed the Karnataka government to take further action as recommend by the court appointed green panel Central Empowered Committee as recommended by it in its Sep 5, 2012, and report the compliance of these orders within four months.
The court also made it clear that while taking up these cases, the probe agency would not be hampered by the Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act that mandates prior sanction of the government before proceeding against the public servants.
The court`s order came on an application by NGO Samaj Parivartana Samudaya which had contended that during 2009 and 2010, 88 lakh metric tonnes of iron ores was exported by 73 exporters from Belekeri Port - a seasonal port situated in the west coast of Kasrnataka.
During this period, Karnataka mines and geology department issued permits for transporting 38 lakh tonnes showing Belekeri port as its destination. The NGO had contended that data shows that 50 lakh tonnes of iron ore exported from this port was without permit.
The CEC that had inquired into the allegations of unauthorised exports of iron ores had by its April 27, 2012, had recommended a CBI probe into the entire matter.
The CEC in an another report Sep 5, 2012, had sought a detailed CBI probe covering all aspects of illegalities associated with raising, transportation, sale and purchase, storage and disposal of about 33.98 MT of iron ore.