The Lokayukta police on Thursday registered FIRs against external affairs minister SM Krishna and two other former Karnataka chief ministers, N Dharam Singh and HD Kumaraswamy, on a private complaint alleging that they had facilitated illegal mining during their tenure as chief ministers.
The Lokayukta police action, however, ignores a comprehensive investigation by former lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde into all mining-related decisions between 2000 and 2008 that had absolved Krishna of all charges.
The Lokayukta special court had last week ordered a probe into the complaint of Bangalore-based social worker Abraham T Joseph - a BSP activist - against the three. Joseph had accused them as well as 11 bureaucrats of causing huge losses to the state exchequer.
A special team headed by Lokayukta SP Jagadish Prasad has been formed to investigate the allegations. The state police have been asked to probe the charges of misuse of power and corruption.
Krishna was Karnataka CM between October 1999 and May 2004 but did not hold mining portfolio.
JD-S state president Kumaraswamy, who was at the helm of affairs in the state from February 2006 to October 2007, has been accused of illegally approving a mining lease over 550 acres in favour of Shree Sai Venkateshwara Minerals and committing illegalities with Jantkal Mining Company.
In New Delhi, Krishna denied he had any role in illegal mining and expressed confidence that the judiciary would put to rest "unholy attempts at his character assassination".
"To the best of my knowledge, no mining licence was issued during my tenure," Krishna said. "My legal team will take appropriate action at the appropriate time."
(With agency inputs)