Don't have belief Govt will act on report: Lokayukta

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Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde
Bangalore, July 27: Ahead of submission of his report on illegal mining, Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde today (Jul 27) said he does not believe the government would act on his findings.

"As I said yesterday, I don't believe the Government will take action", Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge, told reporters.

"They (the State government) took the first (interim) report (submitted in December 2008) but did not take action". Lokayuukta Registrar Moosa Kunhi Nayar Moole is slated to hand over the report to Chief Secretary S V Ranganath.

The report has pegged the loss to the state exchequer due to illegal mining between March 2009 and April 2010 at more than Rs 1,800 crore.

Hegde, a member of Lokpal bill drafting committee, declined to talk about contents of the report, which has indicted Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, four Cabinet Ministers, and former Chief Minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy, among others, and more than 500 officials, particularly in mineral-rich Bellary district. 

Asked if he would also submit the report to the Supreme Court, Hegde said the apex Court had not sought it.

"If asked, I will have to give it, and I will give it. Otherwise, someone else may give it," he said.

Last week, Hegde had said the "Supreme Court is my only hope."

He said leakage of the report does not mean it has lost its "significance". It's just that somebody got it in advance. "It's not (like) leak of question paper (in examination)."

Hegde said he has mentioned in the report about "possible threat" to Lokayukta (five) officials who were involved in the enquiry. "And I have not said that there is already a threat".

He said these Lokayukta officials might have displeased a number of people (by probing into their illegal affairs) and there is a possibility that their future could be in jeopardy.

Asked if he has a "sense of bitterness" as he leaves office, Hegde said: "...I have a sense of bitterness when it comes to leakage ...beyond that...no".

The report talks in detail about iron ore exports, those engaged in it, illegalities and their value, among others, he said.

Stressing upon the need to ban iron ore export, Hegde said the country does not stand to gain by these shipments.

Domestic companies engaged in value addition activities should procure ores only to the extent of their requirement, which will give the Union government central excise revenues and VAT to the states, he said.

PTI

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