New Delhi: Challenging the probe decision of Karnataka High Court, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of private complaint and probe by Lokayukta police against him over alleged illegal mining during his tenure as Karnataka Chief Minister from 1999 to 2004.

Krishna has filed the petition in SC seeking quashing of the January 20 decision of the Karnataka High Court after his plea for quashing the private complaint and proceedings ordered by the Lokayukta Special Court against him was declined.

He termed the verdict of High Court that held that investigation will continue into a cabinet decision on de-reserving of forest area as incorrect.

Presenting his stand before the Apex Court, the Union Minister pleaded that the decision on mining must not be considered the sole decision of his as it was decided after having an extensive discussion with the cabinet colleagues. He further termed the decision as a part of government policy.

Krishna, Chief Minister from 1999 to 2004, however, had got some relief as the High Court had quashed the charges of mismanagement of state-owned Mysore Minerals Limited by him on the ground "it does not constitute any cognisable offence and do not call for investigation".

In the High Court, it was submitted on behalf of Krishna that there was a minister in-charge of Forest Department and also for Mines and Geology Department in his government, which was not the case with successive governments.

The proceedings by a Lokayukta Special Court were initiated on December 8, last year on a private complaint against him.

Krishna had challenged the Lokayukta court order in the High Court which had on December 15 last stayed the FIR against him.

Social activist T J Abraham had filed a private complaint against Krishna, H D Kumaraswamy and another former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh, seeking action against them for allegedly facilitating illegal mining.

Singh, however, had withdrawn his petition from the High Court, seeking quashing of the proceedings against him in the wake a PIL pending against him on the same issue.

In a separate order, the High Court had also refused to grant any relief to Kumaraswamy.

The decision of the Cabinet led by Krishna in de-reserving forest for mining had also reached the Karnataka High Court in 2003 as an advocate had filed a PIL challenging it.

It was dismissed on July 18, 2004 on the ground that there was no public interest involved in the petition.

The court had then held that the petitioner has not been able to show the government has no power to issue such notification.

 

JPN/Bureau/Agencies