Krishna moves SC to halt mining case probe

Move to de-reserve 11,620 sq km of forest land a 'collective' decision,says Krishna in petition.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: January 25, 2012 12:27:31 am

Foreign Minister S M Krishna on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court to stop a police investigation into his role in de-reserving forest land for mining when he was chief minister of Karnataka.

The move to de-reserve the forest land — reported to be about 11,620 sq km — was a “collective” decision of his Cabinet,Krishna said in his petition to the court.

“If this be the law,it is most respectfully submitted,then each and every Cabinet decision would be rendered vulnerable to allegations of individual criminality,however wild or baseless,so that the very functioning of the government under the Westminster system would come to a standstill… no motive or malice can be attributed to a collective body,such as a legislature,” Krishna’s petition read.

The Karnataka High Court had cleared an investigation into Krishna’s role in the matter on January 20.

Krishna,who was chief minister of Karnataka between October 1999 and May 2004,alleged the case was “politically motivated”. “The case is a classic example where the complainant is an active member of a rival political party,” he said.

“If the legal principles adopted by the High Court are permitted to stand,the consequences would be far reaching,and the very functioning of the Central and state governments would be in jeopardy as even policy decisions taken by collective bodies would be made the subject matter of reckless and motivated allegation,” he added.

The High Court,Krishna said in his petition,permitted “an investigation by the police against the then chief minister into a policy decision of the year 2002 taken by the Cabinet of the state of Karnataka to de-reserve forest lands pursuant to the National Mineral Policy adopted by the Central Government in 1993… (this) ignores fundamental and vital precepts and canons of Constitutional law,and raises serious issues of national and public importance”.

The Lokayukta Police of Karnataka,following a complaint by one T J Abraham on December 3 last year,have registered an FIR against Krishna for allegedly permitting illegal mining in the state,including in Bellary. The FIR has also named former chief ministers H D Kumaraswamy and Dharam Singh.

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