Illegal mining scam: 617 officials to face action

In an unprecedented event in India, Karnataka on Friday decided to act against 617 officials for corruption and other illegal activities over illegal mining, a scandal that brought down the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) first government in south India.

The Karnataka cabinet met late on Friday and accepted the recommendation of the Lokayukta (ombudsman) to take action against these officials for abetting/facilitating massive illegal iron ore mining, Law Minister S. Suresh Kumar said after the meeting.

A total of 617 officials, including three from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), are to face action though the Lokayukta had recommended action against 787 officials.

Most of these officials belong to various departments such as mining, forest, revenue and transport.

Suresh Kumar did not give the details of the action to be taken against these officials.

He said over 180 officials have been served notice on why action should not be taken against them. In the case of others, their identity is being established and in several cases more details are being collected.

The then Lokayukta, N. Santosh Hegde, in his July 27 report had identified many officials only by their designation.

This is perhaps for the first time in the country, rocked in recent years by corruption at high political level, that such a large number of officials face action for corruption and illegal activities.

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