Bengaluru: A CBI special court on Wednesday acquitted former Karnataka chief minister and state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa and all others in the Rs 40 crore mining kickback case.
Yeddyurappa’s two sons, son-in-law and JSW officials have also been acquitted of all charges by the CBI court in Bengaluru.
It is being seen as a huge personal victory for him and the BJP in Karnataka which was depending on him to lead the party in the state polls next year.
Judge Dharmagouder delivered a 300 page judgement acquitting all accused in the case, said Yeddyurappa’s lawyer CV Nagesh. Yeddyurappa was asked 473 questions by the judge during the hearing.
Yeddyurappa had been sent to Bangalore central jail October 2011 in connection with the case but was released on bail within three weeks.
He had also unsuccessfully moved both the Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court seeking quashing of charges against him. Besides Yeddyurappa, two of his sons, BJP MLA B Y Raghavendra, B Y Vijayendra, his son-in-law Sohan Kumar, JSW Steel and its Bellary-based four affiliates were charge sheeted by the CBI for offering and receiving bribe. They have been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption.
According to CBI charge sheet, Rs. 40 crore was paid to a trust run by the Yeddyurappa family in 2010 allegedly for the grant of official favours, including mining licenses, when he was chief ministership from 2008 to 2011.
The CBI special court had examined 216 witnesses in the case. The CBI said the money had allegedly come from South West Mining Company, an affiliate of the JSW Steel. It also said an additional amount of Rs.20 crore was paid to Prerana Trust run by Yeddyurappa family and that it later transferred Rs.6 crore to Swamy Vivekananda Samsthe, in which Yeddyurappa was a trustee.
The Yeddyurappa family was also accused of selling one acre BDA notified land in Bengaluru to a JSW Steel affiliate for Rs.20 crore to cover up the bribe amount. According to investigating agencies the market value of the land at that time was Rs.5.5 crore, and CBI had claimed the money trail was traced.