NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of private complaint and probe by Lokayukta police against him over alleged illegal mining during his tenure as Karnataka Chief Minister from 1999 to 2004.
The petition by Krishna challenged the January 20 decision of the Karnataka High Court by which his plea for quashing the private complaint and proceedings ordered by the Lokayukta Special Court against him was declined.
He termed as erroneous the high court verdict that held that investigation will continue into a Cabinet decision on dereserving of forest area.
The petition, filed through advocate Vijay Lakshmi Menon, contended that the Cabinet decision was a collective one taken by 34 ministers and an individual cannot be held responsible for it.
Further, the policy decision of the government cannot be challenged in the court of law, the petition said.
The high court had ordered that investigation should continue into offences relating to dereservation of forest area in mineral-rich fragile zones.
Krishna, Chief Minister from 1999 to 2004, however, had got some relief as the high court had quashed the charges of mismanagement of state-owned Mysore Minerals Limited by him on the ground "it does not constitute any cognisable offence and do not call for investigation".
In the high court, it was submitted on behalf of Krishna that there was a minister incharge of Forest Department and also for Mines and Geology Department in his government, which was not the case with successive governments.
The proceedings by a Lokayukta Special Court was initiated
on December 8, last year on a private complaint against him. Krishna had challenged the Lokayukta court order in the high court which had on December 15 last stayed the FIR against him.
Social activist T J Abraham had filed a private complaint against Krishna, H D Kumaraswamy and another former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh, seeking action against them for allegedly facilitating illegal mining.
Singh, however, had withdrawn his petition from the high court, seeking quashing of the proceedings against him in the wake a PIL pending against him on the same issue.
In a seperate order, the high court had also refused to grant any relief to Kumaraswamy.
The decision of the Cabinet led by Krishna in dereserving forest for mining had also reached the Karnataka High Court in 2003 as an advocate had filed a PIL challenging it.
It was dismissed on July 18, 2004 on the ground that there was no public interest involved in the petition.
The court had then held that the petitioner has not been able to show the government has no power to issue such notification.