Karnataka will soon permit the state ombudsman (Lokayukta) to prosecute senior officials named in the probe report on the multi-crore iron ore mining scam in the state, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Tuesday.
“We will sanction permission to the ombudsman to prosecute about 130 officials, including those of IAS and IPS ranks named in the Lokayukta report, which named them for their role in the mining scam,” Siddaramaiah told editors of local newspapers and bureau chiefs of news agencies here.
Asserting that the guilty would not be spared, the chief minister said though the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was probing the mining scam as directed by the Supreme Court, the state government had enough evidence to act against the corrupt officials.
“I have directed the chief secretary and the department of personnel to submit within a week a report with a list of officials who connived with mining barons to loot the state’s rich mineral wealth and deprived the exchequer of revenues worth crores of rupees in the form of royalty, taxes and other dues,” Siddaramaiah said.
The state anti-corruption institution had investigated the mining scam from 2007 to 2010 and submitted its final report July 27, 2011 under former ombudsman Justice N. Santosh Hegde, a retired judge of the Supreme Court.
The explosive report led to the resignation of Bharatiya Janata Party’s first chief minister B.S. Yeddyaurappa July 31, 2011, as he was indicted along with scores of officials in various departments spanning mining, forests, transport and revenue.
“We are not only for the prosecution of the guilty officials, but also recovering money from them as recommended by the Lokayukta.