No mining licence was given by me: Krishna

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today insisted that he had given no licence for mining in forest area in Karnataka in his capacity as the state Chief Minister, a day after a probe was ordered against him in a mining scam.

He said the former Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde had clearly stated that he was not involved in any mining scam, despite which a complaint was filed against him before a magistrate who asked the Lokayukta Police to undertake investigation.

In a statement issued here, Krishna said he did not "denotify the forest land but after a Cabinet approval and a gazette notification had permitted mining."

"All decisions are policy matters related to the state and no favouritism has been shown to anyone (by Krishna)," the statement said, adding "all matters pertaining to all issues will be furnished."

The statement came a day after Lokayukta Judge N K Sudhindra Rao directed Lokayukta ADGP to conduct probe against Krishna along with two other former Chief Ministers N Dharam Singh and HD Kumaraswamy and submit its report to him on January 6.

The probe order came on a complaint which alleged that during his tenure as Chief Minister from 1999 to 2004, Krishna had not only sanctioned mining lease on old rates but also de-reserved forest land, despite severe opposition from the department of forest and environment.

Krishna said that in a gazette notification of March 15, 2003, the application for mining was called for, wherein it was clearly mentioned that in case the mining comes under forest area, the clearance from the forest department has to be obtained.

"The gazette notification was subsequent to the Cabinet approval. Thereafter the permission was given by the minister for mines," the statement said, insisting that Krishna "has not given any licence for mining."

Krishna said Hegde had in his judgement on these allegations "clearly clarified" that he was not involved in any mining scam. "More than once he (Hegde) had reiterated the same," Krishna said.