CBI to register case in illegal mining in K’taka
New Delhi: The CBI is likely to register a case on Thursday to probe the illegal mining of 50.7 lakh tonnes of iron ore from the forests in Karnataka.
The case, being filed on the directions of the Supreme Court, is also likely to probe the role of the state's police and other authorities who were tasked to keep a check on large-scale mining and exports of the iron ore.
CBI Director A P Singh held meetings with senior officials to finalise the case in which the agency may probe as to how around eight lakh tonnes of iron ore seized by the forest department was allowed to be exported to various foreign companies from the Belekeri port, official sources said here.
It was not immediately known whether the case would be against some corporate houses or unknown people to begin with, the sources said.
The role of CB-CID, which was questioned by the Supreme Court, will also come under the scanner of the probe agency, the sources said.
A special forest bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Aftab Alam had questioned the Karnataka Government as to how law enforcing agencies, particularly the CB-CID, were unaware of the illegal mining on such a huge scale in its own forest reserves and the transportation of minerals to the Belekeri port by using around five lakh trucks over a period of 17 months.
It is alleged that the iron-ore was transported to Belekeri Port between January 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010 and exported to foreign companies especially in China and Pakistan.
The apex court had appointed a Central Empowered Committee (CEC), which recommended an in depth investigation of the mining and exports of the ore.
The two CEC reports of April 27 and September six had suggested a probe to find out officials responsible for various associated illegalities and thereafter to take appropriate follow up action against the erring exporters, stevedores, suppliers, transporters, lessees, the stockyard personnel and the officials.
In the September six report, the CEC recommended that CBI must investigate all aspects of the illegalities associated with raising, transportation, sale and purchase, storage and disposal of about 33.98 lakh tonnes of iron ore exported from January 1, 2009 to May 31,2010 by four exporters.