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”Substantive” evidence against CM: Lokayukta

Bangalore: In more trouble for B S Yeddyurappa, Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh N Hegde today said he has given ”substantive” and ”voluminous” evidence against the Chief Minister and others in the illegal mining in the state.

Terming the illegal mining scam as huge, he said, “In the time period of 14 months, it is more than Rs 1800 crore. The time period is between March 2009 to May 2010. It is the loss to the state exchequer. It is loss to the state”.

Report has given substantive evidence whether it’s the Chief Minister, Ministers and miners in the illegal mining. “It’s a voluminous evidence”, he said, adding, the report runs into 4000-5000 pages.

“It’s a huge racket. As a matter of fact, the Chief Minister is responsible for what’s happening in (mineral rich district of) Bellary because of the fact that the Minister in Charge (of the district G Janardhana Reddy) is owner of a mining company (Obalapuram Mining Company) and a mafia-like situation is created with every official being involved. They have created a new system altogether by which they could literally bleed other mining companies”, Hegde told PTI

Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge, said the leak of the report yesterday would not have any impact as it would not question the validity of the report, which he was expected to submit to the Government by Monday.

Asked if there were instances of money got by illegal mining being parked in tax havens overseas, Hegde said: “We have some instances…..this happened. We have recommended that Enforcement Directorate should enquire into it (affairs of Obalapuram Mining Company)”.

Obalapuram Mining company is owned by Janaradhana Reddy and his family, with brother and Minister G Karuanakara Reddy and another Minister from Bellary, B Sriramulu being partners.

Hegde said there are instances of this company where the money earned against iron ore exports not being brought back to India (indicating that money was parked overseas).

Besides Yeddyurappa, the Reddy brothers, Sriramulu, the report has also indicted former Chief Minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy, another Minister of Yeddyurappa cabinet, V Somanna, Congress Rajya Sabha member Anil Lad and BJP MLA from Kudligi in Bellary district Nagendra.

Hegde said the Obalapuram Mining Company has evolved a system of “zero risk”. “You (the miners in Bellary) give them (the company) 40 to 50 per cent of your produce, your produce will be transported by this group…”. Even if the lorries carrying this ore are caught, the company would pay compound fee and get them released and saw to it that the ore is exported.

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