Illegal mining: retired IAS official arrested

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Bangalore, September 8:  Retired IAS officer Shameen Banu was arrested on Saturday and remanded in judicial custody by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court. She will be in judicial custody till September 21.

Ms. Banu, who is member of the Karnataka Appellate Tribunal, was arrested for her alleged role in renewing the lease of Deccan Mining Syndicate, which is accused of being involved in illegal mining.

It is also said that Ms. Banu’s counsel filed for bail. The CBI has sought time to file its objections to this. Sources said the CBI is yet to file a charge sheet in the case.

Sources added that Ms. Banu is the second IAS officer to be arrested in connection with the illegal mining case. The CBI had also arrested N. Vishwanathan, retired chief secretary, as well as Rajendra Kumar Jain, who owns Deccan Mining Syndicate (DMS), Ritesh Milapchand Jain, DMS senior executive, and Ramakanth Hullar, Sandur circle inspector.

It is said that DMS was sanctioned 50 acres for mining in 1966. The lease came up for renewal in 1996, by which time the company had been blacklisted by the Department of Mines and Geology. The Central Empowered Committee found that DMS had encroached the mines owned by the National Mineral Development Corporation. This, sources said, had caused a loss of the over Rs. 100 crore to the State’s exchequer. Overlooking this, it is alleged that the lease was renewed.

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