"We make it clear that restriction imposed by section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act will not apply on the investigation directed by this court," a special forest bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik said.

The bench also gave a go-ahead to CBI to register criminal cases against those exporters who were subjected to preliminary enquiry (PE) as per the September 5, 2012 report and recommendation of the apex court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) and had exported iron ore of more than 50,000 metric tonnes.

The bench also permitted the agency to refer the matter with respect to exporters, who had exported a total quantity of less than 50,000 tonnes and were not under the umbrella of CBI's PE, to Karnataka government for taking further action under relevant laws as recommended by the CEC.

The bench, also comprising justices SS Nijjar and Ranjan Gogoi, said the state government will also be handed over the cases in which PE was carried out by CBI and the quantity of export was less than 50,000 tonnes.

The apex court said both CBI and Karnataka government would file the compliance report within four months and its order be supplied to the CBI Director and the Chief Secretary of the state government.


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