A SPECIAL CBI court in Bengaluru is set to pronounce its judgment in a Rs 40-crore bribery and corruption case on Wednesday against BJP’s state unit president and former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, his family members and others.
Yeddyurappa, his two sons, a son-in-law, steel major JSW Steel and four Bellary-based JSW Steel affiliates stand accused of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption in a case relating to payment of Rs 40 crore in alleged bribe to Yeddyurappa’s family and a family trust in 2010. The bribe, it is alleged, was paid for grant of official favours during Yeddyurappa’s tenure as the chief minister between 2008 and 2011. In all, 216 witnesses were examined in the case.
The CBI had filed a chargesheet on October 16, 2012, accusing Yeddyurappa and 12 others of corruption after investigations purportedly revealed that Rs 20 crore was deposited in personal bank accounts of Yeddyurappa’s sons B Y Raghavendra (now a BJP MLA in Karnataka) and B Y Vijendra, and his son-in-law Sohan Kumar between August and September 2010. The money, the probe agency claimed, had come from South West Mining Company, a JSW Steel affiliate, for allegedly granting favours to the company to mine iron ore.
According to the chargesheet, an additional Rs 20 crore was donated by JSW Steel affiliates to Prerana Educational and Social Trust, run by Yeddyurappa’s sons, allegedly to facilitate waiver of mining dues and push through pending mining lease applications.
An amount of Rs 6 crore received by Prerana Trust was transferred to Swamy Vivekananda Vidya Samsthe, where Yeddyurappa was a trustee, the CBI claimed.
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The BJP leader, his family members and a former associate are also accused of illegally selling a one-acre plot of government-notified land near Bengaluru to JSW Steel affiliates for Rs 20 crore, allegedly as part of an effort to cover up the receipt of bribe on behalf of the steel firm. The market value of the plot at the time was estimated at Rs 5.22 crore, the chargesheet says.
According to CBI, the piece of land was acquired illegally — allegedly by misusing Yeddyurappa’s position as CM — as it was already notified for acquisition by Bengaluru Development Authority. The CBI has produced evidence and witnesses to fortify its case. These include details of the alleged money trail.