In a big relief to the former Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna, Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the High Court sustain a stay on all the proceedings in the illegal iron ore mining case against him.
The apex court has also asked the special investigating (SIT) team to probe into the allegations made against the two other former Karnataka CM’s N Dharam Singh and H D Kumaraswamy.
The case pertains from the time when Krishna, Singh and Kumaraswamy held the office during their chief ministerial term in Karnataka and allegedly gave away illegal mining contracts in the state.
A Bangalore-based businessman TJ Abraham had filed a complaint demanding an investigation against the CMs for allegedly giving the mining contracts in the iron ore-rich Bellary district of Karnataka. He also alleged that Krishna had amassed wealth in the name of his family members.
Hearing the case against former External affairs minister SM Krishna the Supreme Court said that a SIT team should initiate an inquiry and file a report within three months.
It also emphasised that until the report is being filed there will be a halt to all the Karnataka High Court proceedings and that it should not pass any order regarding the mining case.
The Karnataka High Court in 2012 directed the Lokayukta to initiate an inquiry pertained to giving away the mining contracts and while Krishna was the CM of the state between 1999 and 2004.
Krishna had earlier approached the High Court seeking to quash the FIR filed against him by the Lokayukta Police under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Notably, SM Krishna has joined Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) last week, after serving congress for 45 years. The other two CM’s named in the case are Krishna’s successor in Karnataka.
Dharam Singh was Karnataka CM in the Congress-JD-S coalition government in 2004-06 and H D Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal-Secular took office charge in 2006 heading the JD-S-BJP coalition.
The outburst of the scam also led to the resignation of BJP’s first CM in Karnataka BS Yeddyurappa after the Lokayukta recommended his trial for corruption in the case.
Santosh Hegde in his report submitted on July, 2011 asked to probe Yeddyurappa’s role in the illegal mining case.
All the three former Karnataka CMs have denied the charges against him.
Karnataka illegal mining scandal broke out in 2006.