Dharwad: Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde
today said he would take the assistance of CBI "if need
arises" in the investigation into illegal mining in the state.
"I think, we can do it. If need be, I will seek CBI help
in the investigations", Hegde told reporters here after
interacting with the children of the Bala Balaga, a private
He said he has recommended to the state government to
levy a tax of Rs 150 per tonne of iron ore as the mines owners
have only been paying a "paltry" royalty of Rs 27 per tonne
now but makes huge profit selling it at Rs 6,000 per tonne.
Hegde had a few days ago described as "too premature" the
clean chit given by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to the
Reddy brothers facing charges of illegal mining.
His remarks came against the backdrop of Yeddyurappa
defending the Reddy brothers claiming there was no evidence
against them and ruling out their removal from cabinet.
The state government has entrusted Lokayukta with the
inquiry into illegal export of iron ore even as the opposition
Congress and JD(S) insist on a CBI probe.
The Opposition had accused ministers-cum-mining magnates
Reddy brothers -- G Janardhana Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy --
of involvement in the alleged multi-crore scam.