In a relief to external affairs minister S M Krishna, the Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Karnataka Lokayukta's order directing a probe against him in an alleged illegal mining scam in the state.
A bench of justices Altamas Kabir and Gyan Sudha Misra observed, "We are inclined to stay the proceedings as they are premature." It stayed the January 20 Karnataka high court order that refused to grant relief to Krishna against the lokayukta order. The SC felt the proceedings before the ombudsman was "incomplete" as a supplementary report related to the alleged scam was pending.
While issuing notice to Karnataka government and the complainant on whose plea the FIR was registered, the bench noted: "We are all anxious that truth should come out." It declined to accept the contention of the complainant's counsel Prashant Bhushan that the stay would "stall" the entire probe arising out of the FIR.
The bench said the lokayukta should first complete its investigation before passing such orders. "The lokayukta report is to be followed by another report or the supplementary report for the strong prima facie case," it told Bhushan. The court said it would examine everything after receiving the state's and complainant's response to Krishna's appeal.
Krishna has filed a petition seeking quashing of the probe by Lokayukta Police against him
over the alleged illegal mining when he was Karnataka chief minister from 1999 to 2004.