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The Supreme Court will today hear a petition by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna challenging the registration of an FIR by the Karnataka Lokayukta (ombudsman) police on allegations that he had illegally de-reserved forest blocks for mining when he was chief minister 1999-2004.

A bench of Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra will hear the matter when it would be mentioned before the bench later in the day.

Mr Krishna has challenged the January 20 Karnataka High Court verdict declining to quash the FIR registered by Lokayukta police in December.

His petition said that that policy decision of the government could not be looked into by the courts and the Cabinet decision was a collective decision of the Council of Ministers for which no one individual could be singled out for probe.

The FIR was registered by police on the order of Lokayukta court judge NK Sudhindra Rao directing a probe in the wake of private complaint by a Bangalore businessman TJ Abraham. Mr Krishna’s two successors, N Dharam Singh and HD Kumaraswamy and 11 serving and retired senior officials will also be probed.

In his complaint, Mr Abraham had alleged that during his tenure as chief minister, Mr Krishna “illegally amassed wealth in the name of his family members, including his children and in-laws, and also in the names of his erstwhile close cabinet colleagues in return for de-reserving forest land for private companies”.

Mr Krishna is facing a probe for de-reserving 34 forest blocks in Bellary and other places and allegedly allowing 10 private companies to mine in the area, despite opposition from the then state forests minister and the secretary of the forests department.





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