A lokayukta court ordered investigation into a private complaint against three former Karnataka chief ministers, including external affairs minister SM Krishna, over allegations that they permitted illegal mining during their tenure.
Lokayukta court judge NK Sudhindra Rao directed Lokayukta ADGP to conduct the probe which would also cover former chief ministers N Dharam Singh (Congress) and HD Kumaraswamy (Janata Dal-Secular) and submit the report to him on January 6.
The complainant, social worker Abraham T Jospeh has accused the former CMs and more than 10 bureaucrats of causing huge losses to the exchequer.
According to the complaint, during his tenure (1999 to 2004) as chief minister, Krishna had not only sanctioned mining lease on old rates but also de-reserved forest land, despite severe opposition from the department of forest and environment.
Singh was chief minister in 2005-06. He is accused of issuing temporary transport permits for movement of iron ore and manganese ore from farm lands, which were not under mining lease, and causing a loss of Rs 23.22 crore.
Kumaraswamy, who was CM from 2006 to 2007, is accused of illegally approving mining licence to Sai Venkateshwara Minerals and renewing licence of Janthakal Enterprises during his tenure.
Joseph submitted that his complaint was based on the report on illegal mining presented to the government by then Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, in August.