Home India Politics Three Karnataka ex-CMs named in mining scam FIR

Three Karnataka ex-CMs named in mining scam FIR


Bangalore: In a major embarrassment to the Congress, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Thursday came under police scanner for his alleged role in allowing illegal mining in Karnataka when he was the state’s chief minister 1999-2004.

The police attached to the Lokayukta (ombudsman) Thursday registered a first information report (FIR), that marks the formal beginning of investigation, against Krishna and two other former chief ministers, N. Dharam Singh, also of Congress, and H.D. Kumaraswamy of Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).

Singh and Kumaraswamy are now Lok Sabha members from Bidar in north Karnataka and Ramanagaram near Bangalore respectively.

With Thursday’s FIR, four former Karnataka chief ministers, representing all three major political parties in the state – the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the JD-S, are now under probe by the Lokayukta police.

B.S. Yeddyurappa became the first BJP chief minister to face the police probe and also the first former Karnataka chief minister to be jailed in two corruption cases. He is now out on bail.

A Lokayukta spokesperson told reporters that besides Krishna, Dharam Singh and Kumaraswamy, the FIR has also been registered against 11 serving and retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) officers.

The police are to complete the probe by Jan 6 and submit their report to the Lokayukta special court Judge N.K. Sudhindra Rao.

Rao ordered Dec 3 the probe against the 14 on a private complaint by a Bangalore businessman and social activist, T.J. Abraham, who alleged that Krishna, Dharam Singh and Kumaraswamy permitted illegal mining in return for financial gains.

Krishna was the chief minister 1999-2004. Dharam Singh succeeded him and stayed in office till 2006 as head of the Congress-JD-S coalition. Kumaraswamy took over from Singh and headed the JD-S-BJP coalition and lasted in office for 20 months.

All three have been denying that they had permitted illegal mining. The names of all the three had been mentioned often since the illegal mining scandal broke out in 2006.

Krishna issued a statement in New Delhi Thursday denying the charges. He had also done so soon after the court had ordered the probe Dec 3.