The Supreme Court Friday withheld its order on the recommendation of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the graft charges against former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in the multi-crore-rupee mining scam in the state.
“The special three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia did not consider the CEC report at this stage, as a special leave petition (SLP) against the Karnataka High Court judgment of March 7 quashing bribery charges against Yeddyurappa is pending before another bench of the apex court,” Yeddyurappa’s counsel Prabhu Linga Navadgi told.
When the report of the apex court-appointed CEC was presented before the special bench for consideration, Justice Kapadia observed that “since this issue (SLP) is posted for hearing April 23 before another bench of the apex court, the question of ordering investigation at this stage does not arise.”
The SLP was filed last week by Vishwanath, a resident of Ramanagara, about 40 km from Bangalore.
“As the SLP was before another bench, the Chief Justice felt that it may not be proper to consider the CEC report at this stage,” Navadgi pointed out.
The CEC on environmental matters, which has been probing massive illegal mining in the state, also suggested a probe into a possible link between the kickbacks and the grant of mining lease to a businessman, Praveen Chandra, during Yeddyurappa’s tenure between May 2008 and July 2011.
An NGO, Samaja Parivartana Samudaya, had submitted documents to the CEC, seeking a CBI probe into charges that a trust run by Yeddyurappa’s kin had benefited financially from mining firms in return for favours from the former chief minister.