NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the State of Karnataka and the complainant, who lodged a complaint with the Lokayukta in Bangalore, on a petition filed by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna seeking quashing of an investigation into the de-reservation of certain forest lands.
A Bench comprising Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra also stayed the FIR registered in connection with the case. The Bench sought their replies within three weeks.
When Justice Kabir questioned his locus standi, advocate Prashant Bhushan argued that the concept of subjudice was alien in criminal cases.
Senior counsel K K Venugopal, appearing for Krishna, said that the decision to de-reserve the forest land was a collective one and a private individual cannot litigate on that. It may be recalled that the Karnataka High Court had directed the Lokayukta police to probe into the alleged illegal mining during Krishna’s tenure as the Chief Minister of the state. “We are inclined to stay the proceedings. Accordingly the proceedings on the FIR on the issue ordered by the Karnataka Lokayukta will remain stayed,” the Bench said. The Bench, at one juncture, remarked that the probe ordered by the Lokayukta is “premature”. The Bench issued the orders on the petition of Krishna wherein he sought quashing of the private complaint and investigation by the Lokayukta police into the alleged illegal mining when he was the Chief Minister of Karnataka between 1999 and 2004.