Former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy was denied anticipatory bail by a special court on Tuesday in connection with a decade-old mining scam.
What are the Allegations?
Kumaraswamy was charged with misuse of office, corruption and granting undue favours to the Mumbai-based Janthakal Mining Company back in 2006-07.
During his time in the CM office, Kumaraswamy had allegedly applied pressure on an IAS officer for renewing the lease of the Janathakal Mining Company.
G Janardhan Reddy, former BJP minister and mining baron, had accused the former CM and his family members of receiving Rs 150 crore kickbacks from various mining companies.
What were the developments in the current year?
In May, top IAS officer Ganga Ram Baderiya was arrested by the Lokayukta-appointed Special Investigation Team. Janardhan Reddy had alleged that Baderiya forged documents to get clearances for mining. He allegedly received Rs 10 lakh bribe from Janthakal while he was the director of the Mines and Geology Department in 2007.
Baderiya had recommended the renewal of the firm’s mining licence to the state government and forwarded environmental clearances for the same. “He also gave the firm permission to export 1,17,000 metric tonnes of iron ore after receiving Rs 10 lakh as bribe,” Reddy said.
On May 18, the former CM was granted an interim anticipatory bail for seven days by the Special Court. Y Vanamala Anandarao, presiding officer of the 53rd City Civil and Sessions Court, later directed Kumaraswamy to cooperate with the investigation and not leave the country. The Sessions Court also directed Kumaraswamy to submit Rs. 5 lakh bond and provide two sureties.
On May 19, Reddy appeared before the Lokayukta SIT officials to provide documents as evidence of the alleged Rs. 150 crore kickbacks received by HD Kumaraswamy, including a CD which purportedly shows former minister C. Chennigappa discussing the illegal deal.
What was the status before 2017?
Karnataka High Court had quashed the Lokayukta criminal proceedings in 2011 and had cleared Kumaraswamy in the Janathakal mining case. Last year in September, the Supreme Court ordered Kumaraswamy to face trial in the 2007 Janthakal case. Lokayukta Special Investigation Team arrested Vinod Goel, owner of Janathakal Mining Company, in June 2015 om charges of illegally renewing the lease of his company. The company lease was renewed on the same day when HD Kumaraswamy held office as CM.