The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to look into an NGO’s plea seeking CBI probe against former Karnataka Minister D K Shivakumar, his brother D K Suresh and nine other mining companies in connection with illegal iron ore mining.
A three-judge bench presided over by Justice Aftab Alam told the CEC to submit a report after examining the application filed by Dharwad based-NGO Samaj Parivartana Samudaya (SPS).
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO submitted that the court should direct the CEC to go through the serious charges against those companies, including Sesa Goa, and make a report over their alleged illegal extraction of iron ores in Bellary region.
In its interlocutory application, the Samaj Parivartana Samudaya alleged that Shivakumar, former minister and Congress leader, used his influence over then chief minister Dharam Singh in 2005 to get allotment of over 10.80 lakh tonne of iron ore (conservative value of over Rs 250 crore) to eight companies —some of which were owned by him or his brother D K Suresh and his close accomplices such as P K Ponnuraj, an exporter.
“This amounts to blatant abuse of power, corruption and nepotism by Shivakumar,” the application states. “The former chief minister Dharam Singh for acceding to this demand equally attracts the charge of maladministration. These acts are in violation of the Prevention of Corruption Act.”
The petitioner also alleged that Shivakumar, in connivance with an exporter Satyam Granites, owned by Ponnuraj, created wealth in ill-gotten manner at enormous cost to the public exchequer.
The Samaj Parivartana Samudaya also sought a CBI probe into affairs of mining companies Varalaxmi Mining Company, R Praveen Chandra, the RBSSN Sanklapur iron Ore Mines, Mysore Minerals Limited, Deepchand Kishenlal, Matha Minerals, Latha Mining Company, Sesa Goa, Rama Rao Poal in connection with illegal iron ore mining in Karnataka.
In Bangalore, Shivakumar alleged that Hiremath has filed the case against him in the supreme court at the behest of Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy.
He said earlier attempts by Kumaraswamy to malign him had failed because High Court did not find any irregularities.
He also claimed that he had no involvement at all in a mining business.
“I had earlier written to the CEC saying that my opponents are trying to damage my reputation. I am not into the mining business. Some of my business friends wanted to purchase ore from Mysore Minerals Ltd, so I had helped them,” he said.
He also alleged that the controversy has political origins. “Because the elections are nearing, my opponents are now trying to settle political scores with me,” he said.