The former Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, has been accused of misusing his office to receive a Rs. 20-crore kickback from the South West Mining Company in a quid pro quo deal for waiving Rs. 890 crore due to the State government from the company, according to a charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here on Tuesday.
The agency, which filed the charge sheet in the CBI special court here, named Mr. Yeddyurappa as the prime accused and included his sons B.Y. Vijayendra and B.Y. Raghavendra and son-in-law R.N. Sohan Kumar among the other accused.
“Investigation has revealed that the said amount of Rs. 20 crore was illegal gratification received from the Bellary-based private company as a quid pro quo for not insisting on the recovery of Rs. 890 crore from the same company, which is the loss caused to a Government of Karnataka PSU by a joint venture with the same private steel company,” a press release issued by the CBI said.
The charge sheet against Mr. Yeddyurappa comes on a day on which his aide and former Union Minister V. Dhananjay Kumar was expelled from the Bharatiya Janata Party, hours after the former Chief Minister announced that his new regional political party would be launched in December.
Besides Mr. Yeddyurappa, the list of accused comprises the Prerana Educational and Social Trust, represented by managing trustee Mr. Raghavendra; the former minister S.N. Krishnaiah Setty; JSW Steel Ltd., represented by Sajjan Jindal; South West Mining Company Ltd., represented by Anil Sood; Vinod Nowal, CEO, JSW Steel Ltd.; Vikash Sharma, Senior Vice-President, JSW Steel Ltd.; Real Technical Solution Pvt. Ltd. represented by Srikant Shetty; Jai Bharat Technical Services Pvt. Ltd., represented by Muralidhar Dash; and Industrial Techno Manpower Supply & Services Pvt. Ltd. represented by Vivekananda Kulkarni.
Charges have been filed against them under Sections 120-B r/w (read with) 109, 420, 468, and 471 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 7, 9, 11, 12, 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and Section 9 r/w Section 4 of the Karnataka Land (Restriction on) Transfer Act.
According to the CBI investigation, the accused planned a criminal conspiracy in Bangalore and other places during 2006-10. Mr. Vijayendra, Mr. Raghavendra and Mr. Sohan Kumar purchased land for Rs. 40 lakh, notified for acquisition by the Karnataka government, by violating various laws. This land was de-notified by Mr. Yeddyurappa, by abusing his official position, charged the CBI.
Later, the same piece of land was sold at an exorbitant Rs. 20 crore to a group of Bellary-based companies while the guidance value of the land was Rs. 1.5 crore, the CBI charged.
Soon after the transfer of land to the companies, the Trust run by the Chief Minister’s kin started receiving the money with Rs. 6 crore as the first instalment, CBI sources said.