K'taka: Over 600 officials to face action on illegal mining?

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Karnataka Map
Bangalore, Oct 27: More than 600 officials in Karnataka may face action on illegal mining case and a few officials among them are from the highly prized Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS).

Sources said that the Karnataka cabinet will hold a meeting on Oct 28 to accept an official panel's report recommending action against these officials whom the Lokayukta (ombudsman) has held guilty of facilitating illegal mining in the state.

Meanwhile, the corrupt officials belong to various departments such as mining, forest, revenue and transport and three officials are from the IAS and four from IFS.

Earlier, on July 27, 2011, the Lokayukta had submitted its report on huge illegal mining and had identified over 787 officials, some by name and others by designation, involved in abetting illegal mining. Lokayukta had recommended action against them.

After taking the charge as Chief Minister, Sadanda Gowda had set up a committee of senior officials headed by Additional Chief Secretary K. Jairaj to study the Lokayukta report and give its recommendation on the action to be taken against the officials. The Jairaj panel submitted the report to Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath on Oct 24.

The sources said that the report will be considered by the cabinet on Oct 28 as the government has to meet the stipulation that it should either accept or reject the Lokayukta findings in three months. The rules state that if the government does not reject the report in three months, it will be taken as accepted.

The sources also said the cabinet is likely to accept the Jairaj panel recommendation to act against the officials and inform the same to the Lokayukta soon.

Meanwhile, former Environment Minister of Karnataka, G. Janardhana Reddy has been jailed in Hyderabad over illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh. Former Chief Minister Kumaraswamy is also accused of taking Rs 150 crore bribe to allow illegal mining.

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