A CBI (Central Bureau) of Investigation special court on Wednesday acquitted former Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa and others in the Rs 40 crore Bellary mining scam. Yeddyurappa his two sons, his son-in-law and JSW officials have also been acquitted by the CBI court. This acquittal in Bengaluru can be seen as a great personal victory by Yeddyurappa and the BJP, which is highly dependent on him to carry the party forward in the state polls next year.
Yeddyurappa’s lawyer CV Nagesh said that the CBI special court judge Dharmagouder delivered a 300-page judgement on the mining scam and acquitted Yeddyurappa and others involved of all charges. According to News18, the judge asked 473 questions to Yeddyurappa before the hearing. Earlier the former Karnataka CM had been released on bail within 3 weeks after being arrested in October 2011. He had been sent to the Bangalore central jail. Other than Yeddyurappa, son-in-law Sohan Kumar, sons- B Y Raghavendra who is a BJP MLA, B Y Vijayendra, JSW Steel and four of its Bellary-based affiliates had also been charged by the CBI for offering and receiving bribes. They had bee charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery, and corruption by the CBI.
The CBI had filed a charge-sheet which stated that Yeddyurappa family had received RS 40 crore as funds in 2010 for granting special favours. These favours included mining licenses. All of these activities were reportedly happening during his term as Karnataka’s Chief Minister from 2008-11. According to News18, the CBI special court had questioned and thoroughly examined 216 witnesses in the case. The CBI had said that the amount had arrived from South West Mining Company, affiliated to the JSW Steel.
The Yeddyurappa family had also been accused of BDA notified land of 1 acre to one of the JSW affiliate for RS 20 crore, when the market price was only RS 5.5 crore. They were accused of selling this property for a much higher amount to cover up the bribe. The CBI, however, had claimed that the trail of the money was traced.