Bengaluru: SIT had sought sanction to prosecute Baderiya nine months ago

Bengaluru, May 17 (DHNS): A prosecution sanction request placed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) against IAS officer Gangaram Baderiya, who was arrested in an illegal mining case on Monday, has been pending with the government for the past nine months. On the contrary, the state government recently promoted Baderiya as principal secretary.

SIT had sent the letter seeking permission to prosecute Baderiya for illegally according a mining permit to Hanuman Mines. Hanuman Mines located in Tumakuru is owned by Vinod Goel who is involved in fraudulent activities in his two other mining firms – Jantakal Enterprises in Chitradurga and Sri Sai Venkateshwara Minerals in Ballari.

Baderiya was arrested by the SIT on Monday in connection with illegalities in allowing Jantakal Enterprises to lift iron ore.

Lokayukta report (part-2) had explained the illegalities in permitting mining activities to Hanuman Mines. The report stated that despite not obtaining the statutory clearances from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), two former directors of Mines and Geology permitted Hanuman Mines to carry on with mining activities in contravention of rules. The report had recommended further investigation in the case.

SIT had taken up the investigation based on the Lokayukta report and found that two IAS officers — Baderiya and Prabhakar, who served as the directors of Mines and Geology Department — were involved in granting this permission. Prabhakar retied from service recently. Other officials of the Mines and Geology Department named in the final report are — Thimmappa, deputy director (retired) Tumakuru; Qayum Ali, assistant conservator of forests (retired) Tumakuru and Ramachandraiah, office superintendent. A source said the state government accorded sanction in respect to three lower rung officials. However, there was no progress with regard to the prosecution sanction order of the IAS officers.

The investigation had revealed that a part of the leased area was forest land where mining should not have been allowed. However, mineral dispatch permits were issued by the deputy director of Mines and Geology in Tumakuru on instructions from the directors. Of the total extent of 206.40 acres of land, 71.20 acres in survey number 95 of Rajathadripura Reserve Forest was forest land. Between 1997 and 2009, a total of 7.19 lakh tonnes of iron ore was excavated on the land.