Graft probe accuses top officials in Indian state

AP News
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Posted: Jul 27, 2011 10:31 AM
Graft probe accuses top officials in Indian state

An anti-corruption panel recommended hundreds of government officials be prosecuted for accepting bribes on mining contracts in southern India, news reports said Wednesday.

The three-member investigation panel found that the top elected official of Karnataka state, several ministers and opposition lawmakers violated environmental laws, Press Trust of India reported.

The country's ruling Congress party has been mired in a slew of corruption scandals _ from the hosting of last year's Commonwealth Games to handing out cellular licenses in 2008.

This latest scandal hits the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the main national opposition party and the ruling party in Karnataka state.

The panel recommended that the lawmakers and hundreds of state government officials be prosecuted for accepting bribes to hand out the mining contracts, PTI said.

The recommendations were sent to the federally appointed governor of Karnataka. Its plans are not known.

Local newspapers have reported for years that huge mining interests are owned or controlled by several senior politicians.