External affairs minister S M Krishna on Friday got a major relief from the Supreme Court, which stayed a probe by the Lokayukta police of Karnataka against him in an alleged illegal mining case during his tenure as chief minister.
The bench said the probe ordered by the Lokayukta court was “premature”, as the proceedings before the ombudsman were “incomplete” on account of the failure of submission of the supplementary report.
“We are inclined to stay the proceedings. Accordingly, the proceedings arising out of the FIR on the issue ordered by the Karnataka Lokayukta will remain stayed,” a bench comprising judges Altamas Kabir and Gyan Sudha Misra said while hearing the petition filed by Krishna challenging the January 20 order of the Karnataka high court refusing to give relief to him.
The bench, which issued a notice and sought response within three weeks from Karnataka government and the complainant, on whose plea the FIR was registered, said “we are all anxious that truth should come out”.
The remarks of the bench came when advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the complainant and social activist T J Abraham, opposed Krishna’s plea for staying all proceedings.
He submitted staying of the proceedings will “stall” the entire probe arising out of the FIR registered on the order of the Lokayukta court.
However, the bench was not impressed by his submission and said “prima facie, it is required that investigation by the Lokayukta should be completed”.
“The Lokayukta report is to be followed by another report or the supplementary report for the strong prima facie case. You are bringing the matter before the Lokayukta proceeding is complete,” the bench said.