Karnataka governor to act on mining scam report (Lead)

July 22nd, 2011 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, July 22 (IANS) Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj Friday said he would act on the Lokyaukta (ombudsman) report on the mining scam after he receives it from the state government.

“I will deal with the report under sections 12 & 13 of the Lokayukta Act after I receive it from the state government or a competent authority,” Bhardwaj told reporters on the margins of a function here.

Asserting that he was the only constitutional authority in the state to take action against Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa if the report had substantial evidence of his involvement in the multi-crore mining scam, Bhardwaj said he would first study the recommendations made by ombudsman Justice Santosh N. Hegde and act accordingly.

“I cannot comment now as I am not given the report yet. I understand that the Lokayukta would submit the report to the state chief secretary (S.V. Ranganath) on Monday (July 25). The chief minister will also be given a copy of the report,” Bhardwaj said.

Recalling his long association with Hegde, who was a judge of the Supreme Court and solicitor general of India before that, Bhardwaj said as the ombudsman was a competent person to deal with legal issues involved in the case, he would act on whatever he had recommended in the report.

“I have lot of respect for Hegde. I have known him for long and we have been friends since his days as solicitor general and later Supreme Court judge. I will first study the report as many ministers, legislators and officials are involved in the illegal mining activity and act on his recommendations,” Bhardwaj said.

Yeddyurappa, mining barons and ministers G. Janardhan Reddy and G. Karunanakar Reddy, former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Congress Rajya Sabha member Anil Lad were named by the Lokayukta in his report on illegal mining, which was leaked to the media late Wednesday even before it was printed and submitted to the state government.

Hegde blamed Yeddyurappa and four of his ministers for illegal mining that has caused a Rs.1,827 crore loss to the exchequer in over a year.

Replying to a volley of questions about possible action against the chief minister, Bhardwaj said he would not like to comment till the report was submitted.

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