Mining loss could be double of Rs 16K cr: Hegde
A day after he dropped a political bomb by indicting Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa in the mining scam, Lokayukta Santosh Hegde said that he has nothing personal against anyone and that he only did his job.
Bangalore: A day after he dropped a political bomb by indicting Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa in the mining scam, Lokayukta Santosh Hegde said that he has nothing personal against anyone and that he only did his job.
Speaking to a news channel, Thursday, Hegde said, “I am not bothered about the political consequences of my report. I have nothing personally against Yeddyurappa or anyone. I have only done my job which was entrusted to me.”
However, he alluded to the fact that his job was not easy and could be full of perils for those unearthing savoury truths of powerful barons. “The youngest Reddy brother threatened Lokayukta officials.”
Hegde, who is being referred to as a giant killer, suggested that the dimensions of the scam appear to be more than the Rs 16,000 crore mentioned in his report.
“It could be double the amount as per my team. There should be an independent commission of investing agencies which must do this work; my team is prepared to cooperate with them,” he added.
On Yeddyurappa’s role in the entire scam, Hegde said that there is evidence to show that huge money was given as donation to a trust owned by Yeddyurappa’s family. He pointed out that the company made the donation on borrowed money.
“When a company has no capital and it borrows money to donate, it is unusual…donors were clever as they gave cheques. Was the donation genuine or for some collateral advantage?” he questioned.
Hegde also revealed that Reddy brothers were also supplying illegally mined ore to Jindals and pressed for action against the corporate group under the Mines Act.
Asked about the extent of the role of Kumaraswamy, Hegde said that though the former CM has been named for granting mining licences, there is no evidence to prove a loss to the state exchequer. However, he added that action should be taken against the junior Gowda if any proof surfaces.
On the action that needs to be taken against Yeddyurappa, he said that any action against the CM has to be done by the competent authority and as per the Lokayukta Act, it is the Governor.
“The Governor can act forthwith or he can study it, take his time,” he said.
When asked whether the state government will act on his report, Hegde said, “As per my experience, the state government will not take action,” adding, “I believe the Supreme Court, which is looking into the mining scam, will probably act.”
Referring to the corruption in the political class, a pensive Hegde said, “There is an end of the road, where you can always find yourself in difficulties.”
As a parting note Hegde, who is retiring on August 2, said, “I could have achieved more if I had had received more cooperation.”