The former Chief Minister's lawyers move appeal in High Court
In a major setback to the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, the Special CBI Court on Wednesday rejected the anticipatory bail petition filed by him, and his sons B.Y. Raghavendra and B.Y. Viyayendra and son-in-law R.N. Sohan Kumar.
Minutes after the judge, D.R. Venkat Sudarshan, read out the order, counsel for Mr. Yeddyurappa moved an appeal in the Karnataka High Court for anticipatory bail. The application is expected to come up for hearing on Thursday.
The CBI is conducting a Supreme Court-mandated investigation into alleged kickbacks received by Mr. Yeddyurappa's family members in exchange for mining leases. It had vehemently opposed granting of anticipatory bail to the accused in this case, saying that it should have the option of custodial interrogation given the “serious nature” of the allegations.
However, Mr. Yeddyurappa's counsel argued that the High Court had, on two separate occasions, granted bail to the accused in cases that involved similar allegations.
The allegation is that Rs. 30 crore was paid as kickbacks by South West Mining (SWM) company, a subsidiary of Jindal Steel Works, in exchange for which the State government headed by Mr. Yeddyurappa gave a favourable opinion to the Union government for grant of mining lease. Prerana Education Trust, run by Mr. Yeddyurappa's family, received Rs. 10 crore as donation from SWM. In addition, the mining company also purchased land owned by the family for Rs. 20 crore, which was allegedly far above the market rate.
These alleged kickbacks first found mention in the then Lokayukta N. Santosh Hedge's final report on illegal mining, which led to the filing of an FIR by the Lokayukta police.
But the High Court quashed the proceedings and granted bail to the accused.