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CBI files charge sheet in Karnataka illegal mining case

Bangalore The CBI has filed a chargesheet against two retired IAS officers in Karnataka, the chief executive and managing director of Deccan Mining Syndicate Limited (DMS) and two other officials for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore illegal mining case in the state.

"The chargesheet was filed before the city civil and session court against all the six accused under the provisions of the Indian Personal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, for allegedly causing loss of Rs.1,232 crore to the state-run National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) Limited at Bellary," the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said in a statement in Bangalore today.

Though the investigating agency did not name the two retired IAS officers in the statement, a CBI official told IANS they were former commerce and industry secretary Shamim Banu and former commerce and industry principal secretary N Vishwanathan.

The CBI registered the criminal case on October 1, 2011 against the accused on the charges that the mining company (DMS) had carried illegal mining of iron ore in the area that was leased to NMDC by altering the sketch (of the leased area) belonging to the state-run enterprise.

The accused from the mining firm (DMS) are its chief executive Ritesh Milap Chand Jain and managing director Rajendra Kumar Jain.

The other two officials accused are a former deputy director of the state mines and geology department at Hospet and former inspector of police at Sandur in Bellary district in the northern region of the state.

According to the charge sheet, Banu had allegedly recommended the renewal of mining leases with modified sketch to DMS.

"DMS was allotted to carry out the mining after altering/making modifications in the sketch belonging to the lease area of NMDC," the statement said.

During the investigation, four of the accused were arrested earlier and remanded to judicial custody. One accused was already in judicial custody in another related case.

"Taking cognisance of the charge sheet, the court posted the matter for the appearance of the accused. Though Banu had appeared and sought bail, the court rejected it and she was remanded to judicial custody September 7," the statement said.

However, a CBI special court granted bail to Banu today on health grounds and her advanced age.

Banu retired in 2012 as the state's additional chief secretary.

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