BANGALORE: Despite strong recommendations by the High Level Committee to initiate disciplinary action against seven All India Services (AIS) officers, including three of IAS cadre named in the Karnataka Lokayukta report on illegal mining, no action seems to be in the pipeline.
The tainted officers continue to hold plum posts in the state government. The government had constituted a High Level Committee last year, with four Additional Chief Secretaries, to advise the government on implementing recommendations and findings of the Lokayukta report, with action to be taken against the officials named in the report.
The committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary K Jairaj had met several times and held extensive discussions with principal secretaries of various key departments, including Forest, Revenue, Transport, Mining, Home and Environment, and submitted a comprehensive report indicting several officers of both Central and state cadre.
The three IAS officers who were indicted by the HLC are M V Shivalinga Murthy, K S Prabhakar and Gangaram Baderia, who were facing several charges, including flouting established norms in clearing mining licenses, granting permission to lift old waste dumps of iron ore and providing false reports to the Bureau of Indian Mines, along with other related infractions.
While Shivalinga Murthy (IAS) is currently officiating as the Managing Director of Karnataka State Beverage Corporation, K S Prabhakar is the MD of state-owned MSIL. Baderia is presently the Regional Commissioner of Belgaum.
The other four AIS officers from Indian Forest Service — Muthaiah, Srinivasulu, P Rajashekar and M K Shukla — who were also indicted by the Lokayukta report were lucky as they had to face the suspension order from the state government alone.
HLC in its report had recommended the government to obtain remarks from the officials concerned on specific observations made in the Lokayukta report, including negligence and misconduct in discharging their duties.
The Lokayukta in its report had clearly marked Muthaiah, former Conservator of Forests, for specific pecuniary losses incurred by the state government amounting to Rs 15.44 crore, besides showing undue favour and abuse of office in colluding with the illegal mining operators.