A fast track court may be established to try the officials involved in the Iron ore mines scam of Karnataka, says Chief Minister Siddaramaih on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, in the Legislative Assembly. The scam had caused the state a loss of Rs 16,085 crore due to the illegal mining from 2006 to 2010. A report on the same was submitted on July 27, 2011 in the assembly by the former Lokayukta Santosh N. Hegde.
The former ruling party of the state, BJP Government was blamed for such delay in taking actions against the officials by the Chief Minister, as the Congress has come into power only two months ago. He further said that they would ask even the retired officials involved in the scam to pay for the losses. The notices are already being sent to 198 officials, criminal cases are being filed against 5 officials and other 97 officials are still under investigations of being accused by the Lokayukta.
Karnataka Government had put a ban in the iron ore mines of the state in July 2011 due to the illegal mining activities that took place in the state. Subsequently, on September 3, 2012, the Supreme Court had ordered to resume mining operations in the state.
Talking on other issues apart from the scam, he also said that the Union Government has fixed a 10% royalty on per ton market price of Iron ore. He will now discuss with them and ask to increase the royalty more than what is decided already.