Mining case: HC to hear Kumaraswamy's plea



Bangalore: Karnataka High Court will on Friday take up the petition moved by JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy seeking quashing of FIR filed by Lokayukta Police following a complaint accusing him of facilitating illegal mining during his tenure as Chief Minister.

Justice N Ananda yesterday adjourned the hearing after Kumaraswamy's counsel Hazmath Pasha sought time for further arguments.

Kumaraswamy had prayed for quashing a December 2 Lokayukta probe order under section 156 (3) of CrPC and the investigation being conducted into the matter.

Pasha submitted that decision taken by Kumaraswamy in his capacity as chief minister on granting mining lease was not "individual" as he was guided by officials and he alone cannot be blamed.

Countering Pasha's arguments, Justice Ananda observed that a person in the capacity of a chief minister should take decisions in the light of public concerns.

"The chief minister, while exercising his powers, should take into consideration the impact of his decision on the state and the ecology. Can the chief minister grant a mining lease in Cubbon Park without considering the ecological issues," Ananda observed.

Referring to the mining lease granted to Sai Venkateshwara, Pasha contended that "no offence has been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act" and that the Lokayukta report has not sought criminal prosecution against him with regard to leases granted to two others.

He also contended there was no loss to the state exchequer because of these two mining leases as these were not given effect to and no mining operations took place.

Pasha contended that false and frivolous complaints were filed with an intention to gain publicity and harass Kumaraswamy and his family members.

PTI