Karnataka

CBI court acquits Yeddyurappa, 13 others in mining case

Former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa mobbed by media persons outside the CBI court in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Photo: Sreenivasa Murthy  

In a relief to the former Karnataka Chief Minister and State BJP president, B.S.Yeddyurapppa, a special court for CBI cases on Wednesday acquitted him of all the charges in a case of allegedly showing favour to two mining companies and receiving illegal gratification from them through Prerana Trust, managed by his sons and son-in-law.

As many as 12 other accused, including Mr. Yeddyurappa’s two sons, B.Y. Vijayendra and B.Y. Raghavendra, son-in-law R.N. Sohan Kumar and former Minister S.N. Krishnaiah Setty, were also acquitted from all the charges due to lack of evidence.

The other accused are: the Prerana Trust, managed by Mr. Raghavendra; M/s South West Mining Company, represented by its general manager, Rajiv Bansal; M/s JSW Steel, represented by its CEO and director Vinod Nowal, senior vice-president Vikas Sharma, general manager Mani C Manuel; M/s Real Technical Solutions Pvt. Ltd., represented by its direct Srikant Shetty; M/s Jai Bharath Technical Services Pvt. Ltd., represented by its director Murallidhar Dash; and M/s Industrial Techno Manpower Supply and Services Pvt. Ltd. represented by Vivekananda Kulkarni.

R.B. Dharamagoudar, 21st Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge and Principal Special Judge for CBI cases, pronounced the verdict while acquitting them of all the charges framed under Section 120B and 420 of the India Penal Code and Sections 7, 11, 13(2) 13 (1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

CBI court finds no fraudulent intention

The CBI probed the case on the direction of the Supreme Court and filed charge sheets in 2012.

It was alleged that Mr. Yeddyurappa used his official position for the denotification of land in Survey No.55/2, situated at Rachenahalli village in Bengaluru, measuring approximately about 1 acre 12 guntas, and this land was later purchased by his close relatives for Rs.40 lakh and sold to M/s South West Mining Company for Rs. 20 crore. The Prerana Trust received Rs. 20 crore as donation from M/s South West Mining Company.

Another allegation against Mr. Yeddyurappa was that the ban imposed on export of iron ore on July 28, 2010 during his regime as Chief Minister was aimed at favouring M/s JSW, which was in need of iron ore for domestic purpose and the ban gave an advantage to the company to fix price for purchasing ore.

And M/s JSW, on the same day, that is on July 28, 2010, through its sister concern, the South West Mining Company, entered into an agreement to purchase land from Mr. Yeddyurappa’s sons and son-in-law for an exorbitant price of Rs.20 crore, though the market value of it was only around Rs. 5 crore.

Origin of the case

Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde, in the chapter 22 of his 2011 report on illegal mining in the State, had referred to the transactions between M/s South West Mining Company and Prerana Trust and recommended a probe, accusing Mr. Yeddyurappa of illegally favouring the mining companies.

However, Mr. Yeddyurppa questioned the Chapter 22 before the High Court which, in March 2012, quashed the Chapter 22 for the reason that the Lokayukta did not issue notice to Mr. Yeddyurappa before making recommendations against him. The court also quashed sanction for prosecution granted against him by the Governor and the First Information Report registered by the Lokayukta police based on chapter 22.

Later, Samaj Parivarthan Samtha of S.R. Hiremath produced the Lokayukta report on illegal mining before the Supreme Court, which sought a report from the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on the mining transactions involving M/s JSW Steel and South West Mining Company.

The Supreme Court, on the recommendation of CEC, in May 2012 directed the CBI to probe the case by registering an FIR and submit report to the jurisdictional court in Bengaluru.

As the allegation related to alleged illegal denotification of land at Rachenahalli was also made against Mr. Yeddyurappa in a private complaint filed by city-based advocate Sirajin Basha, the Supreme Court asked the CBI to take over this aspect from the Lokayukta police.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 6:57:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/CBI-court-acquits-Yeddyurappa-13-others-in-mining-case/article16082412.ece

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