Mining: SC Extends Stay on Probe Against Krishna
The Supreme Court today extended its stay on a probe by the Lokayukta police into a case of illegal mining allegedly involving External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and granted four weeks to Karnataka government to file its response on the issue.

A bench of justices Altamas Kabir and S S Nijjar passed the direction after the state government sought four weeks time to file its reply on Krishna's petition challenging the FIR registered against him in the case of alleged illegal mining, dating back to his tenure as Karnataka chief minister.

The apex court had on January 27 stayed the proceedings on the FIR against Krishna on his plea, observing that the case "was too premature."

"We are inclined to stay the proceedings. Accordingly, the proceedings arising out of the FIR on the issue ordered by the Karnataka Lokayukta will remain stayed," the apex court had said earlier on Krishna's plea, challenging the January 20 order of the Karnataka High Court refusing to give him the relief.

The bench had said the probe ordered by the Lokayukta court was "premature" as the proceedings before the ombudsman was "incomplete" on account of the failure of the submission of the supplementary report.

The bench, which had issued a notice and sought response within three weeks from Karnataka government and the complainant, on whose plea the FIR was registered, also said "we are all anxious that truth should come out".

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

Krishna had challenged the Lokayukta court's order in the high court which had on December 15 last stayed the FIR against him.

A social activist T J Abraham had filed a complaint against Krishna and former chief ministers H D Kumaraswamy and N Dharam Singh seeking action against them for allegedly facilitating illegal mining.

The S M Krishna Cabinet's decision of 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 that the government has no power to issue such notification.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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