Criminal Petition Nos. 5684, 5685, 5686, 5945, 6689, 6872, 6873 and 6874 of 2015. Case: Linganagouda and Ors. Vs The State of Karnataka. Karnataka High Court
|Case Number:||Criminal Petition Nos. 5684, 5685, 5686, 5945, 6689, 6872, 6873 and 6874 of 2015|
|Party Name:||Linganagouda and Ors. Vs The State of Karnataka|
|Counsel:||For Appellant: L.M. Chidanandayya, Advocate and For Respondents: P. Govindan, Special Public Prosecutor|
|Judges:||Anand Byrareddy, J.|
|Issue:||Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) - Section 200; Lokayukta Act, 1984 - Sections 12, 15; Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 - Sections 21(6), 22|
|Judgement Date:||March 28, 2017|
|Court:||Karnataka High Court|
Anand Byrareddy, J.
Heard the learned Counsel for the petitioners and the learned State Public Prosecutor.
These petitions are disposed of by this common order.
These cases are filed under three categories. Insofar as the first category of cases is concerned, the petitioners therein had conducted quarrying operations on the basis of the interim orders passed by this court in certain writ petitions that were filed in the year 1993. Since there was inconclusive findings by this court, the petitioners therein had to stop quarrying and therefore there were instances where the granite which was mined being left on the place where quarrying activities were carried on, but they were abandoned.
The second category of cases where quarrying licences had been obtained, but on expiry of the period, the same had not been renewed. The third category are those cases where the petitioners had filed applications for quarrying licence and no quarrying activities were done. Those applications seeking working permits are pending before the Government.
It is in this background that on the basis of First information Reports registered before the Magistrate, that investigation was being carried on. These FIRs were said to have been transferred to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) attached to the Lokayukta, which was constituted by the State Government vide notification dated 22.11.2013. The Government Order of the said date indicates that the State Government, after considering the recommendation of the Lokayukta in the Second Part of the Report dated 27.7.2011, where there was need for further inquiry and in the wake of an order passed by the Supreme Court dated 16.9.2013, the Government, in supersession of its earlier order dated 25.6.2012, entrusted cases enumerated in Annexure -A appended to the said Government Order for detailed investigation by the Karnataka Lokayukta and further investigation by the Lokayukta Police. Therefore, it is contended that the investigation into the activities of the present petitioners is traced to this notification and Annexure-A to the said Government Order, which enlists the report of the Lokayukta and the matters on which detailed investigation is to be carried on. Significantly, as pointed out by the learned Counsel for the petitioners, there is no indication of any investigation being required to be carried out insofar as the quarrying operations are concerned.
The learned Counsel for the petitioners would further point out that the offences alleged, particularly under the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation)Act, 1957 (Hereinafter referred to as the 'MMDR Act', for brevity) would require compliance with Section 22, which...
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