Retired IAS officer Shamim Banu gets bail in mining case

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Bangalore, Sept 16, 2013: Retired IAS officer Shamim Banu, who was remanded in judicial custody till September 21 by the CBI special court here earlier this month, was granted bail on Monday.

The court had remanded Banu in judicial custody on September 7 while hearing her bail petition as the CBI sought time to file it objections. The CBI has filed a charge sheet against the Deccan Mining Syndicate (DMS), its top executives and two retired IAS officers in what the agency claims is a Rs 1,232.39-crore mining scam.

In the charge sheet filed before the CBI special court here, the investigating agency has pressed charges of criminal conspiracy, theft and criminal trespass against DMS, its CEO Ritesh Milap Chand Jain and Managing Director Rajendra Kumar Jain.

The CBI has pressed the same charges along with relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Shamim Banu, the then Secretary, Commerce and Industries department, M Vishwanath, the then Principal Secretary of the same department, S K Raju, the then Deputy Director, Mines and Geology, and Ramakant Y Hullar, a police inspector. Banu, Vishwanath and Raju have all retired from service.

An official note issued by the CBI said: “It was alleged that the DMS had carried out illegal mining of iron ore in mining licence number 2,525 which falls within the lease area allotted to the State-run National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd (NMDC) in mining licence number 1111.”

The agency said that DMS was permitted to carry out the mining after altering and making modifications in the sketch belonging to the lease area of the NMDC.

CEC findings

The CBI in June had arrested the persons named in the charge sheet, following an
investigation in pursuant of the Central Empowered Committee’s (CEC) finding that DMS had encroached upon the mines owned by the NMDC.

Sources said that the DMS had been leased a 50-acre plot by the government in 1966. When the leasehold was to be renewed in 1996, the Department of Mines and Geology had submitted a report blacklisting DMS for having stolen iron ore from the NMDC.

There is an allegation that Vishwanath and Banu overlooked this adverse report and renewed the lease. Stating that the police had not taken action despite the NMDC officials wanting to file an FIR, Ramakant Hullar had repeatedly turned the officials away in 2009, the sources said.

Accused sent to judicial custody

The CBI special court on Monday remanded Somashekar of S B Logistics in judicial custody till September 30. S B Logistics is one of the companies named in the charge sheet filed in the Associated Mining Company (AMC) case, in which the CBI has arrested former minister G Janardhana Reddy.

The court, however, granted Somashekar permission to get food and medicine supplied from home, after his counsel submitted medical reports that prescribe a specific diet and medicines.

The CBI had filed an FIR against Reddy, his wife Aruna and 20 others in connection with illegal quarrying by AMC. Later, the charge sheet had said that their acts had caused a loss of Rs 198 crore to the State exchequer.

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