A day after the Congress's Goa unit sought to draw a distinction between "irregular" and "illegal" mining, former Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde on Sunday stressed there was no difference, as both entailed cheating.
"There is no difference between illegal or irregular mining. In both cases there is cheating," said Hegde, whose explosive report on the illegal mining in Karnataka resulted in the exposure of one of the biggest illegal scandals in India and downfall of the BS Yeddyurappa government.
Hegde's comments come a day after state Congress president Subhash Shirodkar said that there was virtually no illegal mining in Goa and that at most, it was "irregular". "There is a vast difference between irregularities and illegalities," the Congress leader said.
Commenting on his experiences a Lokayukta and the probe against illegal mining, Hegde said that had he continued in office for a mere two more months, the office of the Lokayukta would have broken the backbone of the entire illegal mining industry in the state.
"With mere five officers, we scrutinized four lakh docmuments and assessed 40 lakh bank accounts... If we had got two more months more, we would have literally nailed everyone involved in Bellary illegal mining scam," said Hegde, during a workshop on making of the draft Lokayukta 2011 bill here.