B.S. Yeddyurappa, against whom the Supreme Court ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe on Friday, is the third former Chief Minister of Karnataka to be investigated by the agency.
The CBI had conducted probes against two former Chief Ministers — M. Veerappa Moily, now Union Minister for Corporate Affairs, and his immediate predecessor, the late S. Bangarappa. However, both these Congress leaders were acquitted by the Special Court for CBI cases that tried the cases against them.
Mr. Moily's name figured in the charge sheet filed by the CBI in the infamous Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) bribery case, which related to bribing of the JMM MPs to vote against a no-confidence motion moved by the Opposition against the then P.V. Narasimha Rao government on July 28, 1993.
The CBI, which had registered cases in this regard on March 25, 1996, had alleged that money paid to the JMM MPs was mobilised from two liquor barons at the instance of Mr. Moily, who was then Chief Minister, and his ministerial colleagues, H.M. Revenna and Ramalinga Reddy.
On December 9, 1996 the CBI filed a charge sheet naming Mr. Moily, Mr. Revenna, Mr. Ramalinga Reddy and liquor barons D.K. Audikeshavalu and M. Thimme Gowda as accused. However, a CBI Court in New Delhi on September 29, 2000, acquitted all of them.
Classik Computer case
Mr. Bangarappa, was investigated by the CBI in the Classik Computer case of 1992-93.The charge against Mr. Bangarappa was that he and the then Chief Secretary to the Karnataka Government J. Alexander, with the object of causing pecuniary advantage to one V. Gokul Krishna of Classik Computer System, had awarded the contract of supplying 100 Apple Macintosh computers at a cost of Rs. 5.71 lakh per unit.
It was alleged that Classik Computer System had submitted details of price on March 31, 1992 and on the same day it was approved and notification was issued in violation of norms without seeking the view of technical advisory panel. The CBI had also mentioned in the charge sheet that Mr. Bangarappa and Mr. Alexander had received kickbacks from Classik Computer System.
However, on September 19, 2003, Special Court for CBI Cases, Bangalore, passed an order acquitting the two. Subsequently, the Karnataka High Court dismissed the appeal filed by the CBI against the order of the Special Court for CBI cases. The High Court said that there was no material to convict the two either for criminal conspiracy or under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI had registered the first information report on March 19, 1993 based on a complaint filed by the then Chief Secretary J.C. Lynn following the State government's decision to handover to the CBI the investigation of the case. The CBI filed the charge sheet on July 27, 1994.