BENGALURU: A Lokayukta special court on Wednesday granted interim anticipatory bail to former Chief Minister and JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy in a mining case in which a serving IAS officer was arrested on Monday.
Judge Y Vanamala Anandrao, in-charge of Lokayukta special court, granted the interim bail for seven days, imposing certain conditions.
Kumaraswamy has been asked to appear before the investigating officer as and when required and not leave the country without the court’s permission.
The judge said Kumaraswamy could be released on executing a Rs 5 lakh bond and two sureties in the event of his arrest by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).
Kumaraswamy is one of the accused in a case registered by the SIT based on then Lokayukta Justice N Santhosh Hegde’s report on illegal mining in Karnataka.
Kumaraswamy was accused of pressurising IAS officer Ganga Ram Baderiya, the then Commissioner of Mines and Geology, to allow Vinod Goel of Janthakal Mining Company to lift iron and manganese ore dumped in Chitradurga in 2007, based on forged letters purportedly issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The judge adjourned the hearing to May 23.
Baderiya, who is presently serving as Secretary, Revenue Department, was the first IAS officer arrested by SIT on Monday, for allegedly getting Rs 10 lakh from Janthakal Mining Company Pvt Ltd through his son’s account, for allowing the company to lift about 1 lakh tonnes of low grade iron ore and manganese in Chitradurga.
In his order, Baderiya stated, “Hon’ble CM (H D Kumaraswamy) has given ultimatum that the permission should be given within TWO HOURS, without loss of time. Therefore permission should be issued and directions should be given to the DD/Chitradurga to allow lessee to lift old dumps as it is already permitted by the Government of India (alleged forged letter), Ministry of Environment & Forests, letter dated August 27, 2007.”
Govt trying to fix me, says HDK
H D Kumaraswamy said he will appear before SIT on Thursday. “They want to arrest me at least for one day so that it can create confusion about me. I am aware of the efforts being made by some people in the government,” he told reporters. “I am working hard to build the party and that is the reason why they (Congress) want to stop me by using SIT.”
IAS officer Baderiya was hospitalised on Wednesday after he complained of discomfort in the chest. SIT officials said his health condition is stable.