The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday carried out searches at various locations in Karnataka including the residences of two members of Legislative Assembly from the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party in connection with alleged illegal mining in the state.
The action comes nearly a week after the Supreme Court sought the CBI's response with regard to its probe into alleged connections between mining activities in the state's Bellary district and Ananthpur in Andhra Pradesh.
CBI sources said searches were carried out at the premises of Associated Mining Company and Syndicate Mining besides the residence of BJP MLA G Janardhana Reddy and Congress MLA B Nagendra.
The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia had on September 23 directed the CBI to investigate the linkages as it "prima facie found that material (ore) extracted by two companies...is being routed through Obulapuram in AP. "It is for this reason we are issuing notice to the CBI. We want the CBI to investigate this aspect of linkage," the bench had said.
The CBI also searched the office of JSW owned by Sajjan Jindal as the agency claimed that it had also been a beneficiary of the iron ore for its steel plant, agency sources said.
JSW said that no searches had been conducted but a CBI team visited the company's Vijayanagar works this morning and sought certain information about procurement of iron ore.
"JSW Steel has and will fully cooperate and provide all the information that may be sought by the authorities concerned in this regard," the company said in a statement.
It said JSW Steel has been procuring iron ore from various sources for its steel production requirements and every tonne procured is accounted for and paid for in compliance with applicable rules and regulations.
The CBI, probing alleged illegal mining and irregularities in allotment of mining leases to Obulapuram Mining Company had arrested one of the three Reddy brothers, G Janardhana Reddy, and OMC Managing Director Srinivas Reddy on September 5 from Bellary in Karnataka.
The duo is under judicial custody till October 3 and have been lodged at Chanchalguda Central Prison in Hyderabad. The Supreme Court had passed the order after perusing the September 21 report of the Central Empowered Committee regarding the survey and demarcation, e-auction and related issues pertaining to the mining leases in the districts of Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur.