Lokayukta probe: SM Krishna moves SC

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Tuesday moved the SC against Karnataka HC’s order refusing to stall the Lokayukta police’s probe against him.

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister SM
Krishna on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of
private complaint and probe by Lokayukta police against him
over alleged illegal mining during his tenure as Karnataka
Chief Minister from 1999 to 2004.

The petition by Krishna challenged the January 20
decision of the Karnataka High Court by which his plea for
quashing the private complaint and proceedings ordered by the
Lokayukta Special Court against him was declined.

He termed as erroneous the high court verdict that held
that investigation will continue into a Cabinet decision on
dereserving of forest area.

The petition, filed through advocate Vijay Lakshmi Menon,
contended that the Cabinet decision was a collective one taken
by 34 ministers and an individual cannot be held responsible
for it.

Further, the policy decision of the government cannot be
challenged in the court of law, the petition said.

The high court had ordered that investigation should
continue into offences relating to dereservation of forest
area in mineral-rich fragile zones.

Krishna, Chief Minister from 1999 to 2004, however, had
got some relief as the high court had quashed the charges of
mismanagement of state-owned Mysore Minerals Limited by him on
the ground "it does not constitute any cognisable offence and
do not call for investigation".

In the high court, it was submitted on behalf of Krishna
that there was a minister incharge of Forest Department and
also for Mines and Geology Department in his government, which
was not the case with successive governments.

The proceedings by a Lokayukta Special Court was
initiated on December 8, last year on a private complaint
against him.

Krishna had challenged the Lokayukta court order in the
high court which had on December 15 last stayed the FIR
against him.

Social activist TJ Abraham had filed a private complaint
against Krishna, HD Kumaraswamy and another former Chief
Minister N Dharam Singh, seeking action against them for
allegedly facilitating illegal mining.

Singh, however, had withdrawn his petition from the
high court, seeking quashing of the proceedings against him in
the wake a PIL pending against him on the same issue.

In a seperate order, the high court had also refused to
grant any relief to Kumaraswamy.

The decision of the Cabinet led by Krishna in dereserving
forest for mining had also reached the Karnataka High Court in
2003 as an advocate had filed a PIL challenging it.

It was dismissed on July 18, 2004 on the ground that
there was no public interest involved in the petition.

The court had then held that the petitioner has not been
able to show the government has no power to issue such
notification.

PTI

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