The high-level committee set up to study the Lokayukta report on illegal mining pertaining to the role of officials indicted in it, has recommended action against over 600 officials, including seven of all-India cadre.
In its report submitted to the government on Wednesday, the Committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary K Jairaj, devoted 26 pages pertaining to various recommendations to Chief Secretary S V Ranganath, official sources said here. The Committee, in its 317-page report, has recommended action against 617 officials, they said.
The Lokayukta in its report on illegal mining, has named about 787 officials, of whom 150 have passed away. The Committee had directed Departments of Revenue, Mines and Geology, Police, Commercial Tax, Forest and Transport to serve notices on their officials indicted in the report and seek their replies.
Most of those who had replied to the notice had rejected charge of having received bribes from an aide of arrested mining baron G Janardhana Reddy, now in judicial custody in Hyderabad. The Lokayukta report had observed that documents seized from Karapudi Mahesh, a trusted aide of Reddy, indicated that payments were made to officials of various departments, the sources said.
Sources said the committee has recommended stringent action against some officials, including dismissal, but could not specify the number.
The Committee recommended introduction of e-permit system and e-weighing bridges to check illegal transport of iron ore and overloading in connivance with officials. It suggested government set up a monitoring committee to oversee whether licenced mines have been adhering to rules while mining iron ore with a view to curb illegal mining.
The Lokayukta report on illegal mining submitted to the Government on July 27 stirred a hornet’s nest in Karnataka and resulted in BJP prevailing upon an indicted B S Yeddyurappa to quit the Chief Minister’s post.
CBI which has been probing illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh under a Supreme Court directive arrested Janardhana Reddy and his relative Srinivasa Reddy on August 4. The government has to furnish an Action Taken Report to Lokayukta in three months of submission of the report. The deadline ends by October 27.
Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda headed ministry has already written to the Lokayukta, seeking clarifications on its report whether it probed the illegal mining on a complaint or reference by the Government, an attempt seen as a move to buy some more time.