Apex court slams Karnataka government on iron ore mining

September 7th, 2012 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) In blistering criticism of the Karnataka government for looking the other way when iron ore in the state was being illegally mined, transported and exported, the Supreme Court Friday ordered a CBI probe into the illegal extraction and export of 50.7 lakh tonnes of iron ore from the state’s forest areas from January 2009 to May 2010.

The apex court forest bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam, directed a CBI probe while accepting the report of its central empowered committee on environmental matters recommending the probe. Slamming the Karnataka government, the court said it was a case of ‘the fence eating the grass’.

Justice Alam said: “Can anyone imagine that the state authority, right from bottom to top was not aware of the illegal mining of iron ore to the tune of 50.7 lakh metric tonnes, its transportation and export. The state machinery, instead of governing, was involved in all these illegalities.”

Senior counsel, Raju Ramachandran sought to resist the ordering of the CBI probe, saying that the state CID was already investigating the matter. The court said that the state CID would be fully knowing what was happening while it was happening and asked, “Have you arrested a single person involved in illegal mining so far?”

The court directed that no authority or court will entertain any plea arriving out of its order for a CBI probe, effectively meaning that any matter in respect of this direction can only be raised before it.

–Indo-American News Service
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