Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said he had not committed anything illegal by granting mining lease to certain companies and persons as union minister for mines in 1998.
"The central ministry takes decision on the recommendations of the state governments. Granting mining lease on such recommendations cannot be termed illegal," Patnaik told reporters in Bhubaneswar.
It was the state government's responsibility to make recommendation in favour of any company or person, he said reacting to Congress charge in the assembly that he had granted mining permission to one Indrani Patnaik in 1998.
The state vigilance department had registered a criminal case against Indrani Patnaik and four others for "illegal mining activities violating Forest Acts" on December 3.