Bangalore, Oct 16 (IANS) The CBI Tuesday filed a charge sheet in a trial court here against former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and 13 others in a graft case related to the multi-crore rupee mining scam in the state during his tenure from 2008-2011.
The charge sheet was filed in the court of special judge for CBI cases against Yeddyurappa, his two sons B.Y. Raghavendra, B.Y. Vijayendra, son-in-law R.N. Sohan Kumar, their Shimoga-based Prerna Education Trust, former state Muzrai minister Krishnaiah Shetty and six mining firms, including the Bellary-based JSW Steels Ltd.
Raghavendra is a BJP Lok Sabha member from Yeddyurappa's home town Shimoga, about 260 km from here.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a criminal case against Yeddyurappa and the other accused on the directive of the Supreme Court May 11 under the various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and the Karnataka Land (restriction on) Transfer Act.
The other accused are JSW Steels vice-chairman Sajjan Jindal, its chief executive Vinod Nowal, senior vice-president Vikash Sharma, Anil Sood of South West Mining Company (a joint subsidiary of JSW), Srikant Shetty of Real Technical Solution Ltd, Muralidhar Dash of Jai Bharat Technical Services Ltd and Vivekananda Kulkarni of Industrial Techno Manpower Supply and Services Ltd.
In a statement Tuesday, the CBI said Yeddyurappa's kin had allegedly hatched a criminal conspiracy during 2006-10 to purchase a government land near Bangalore for Rs.40 lakh (Rs.4 million) by violating various laws.
"The said land was de-notified (freed from government control) by the then chief minister (Yeddyurappa) by allegedly abusing his official position in violation of various government rules," the statement said.
Later, the same land was sold at an exorbitant rate of Rs.20 crore to a Bellary-based private group of companies (JSW Steels and South West Mining) even though the guidance value of the land was Rs.1.5 crore.
"Investigation has also revealed that the said amount (Rs.20 crore) was allegedly a cover up to the illegal gratification received from the company (JSW Steels) as a quid pro quo for not insisting recovery of Rs.890 crore from it (JSW), which (was) caused to the state-run company (Mysore Minerals Ltd) by a joint venture (South West Mining) of the same steel company," the statement said.
The investigation also revealed that JSW has allegedly paid through its sister companies (South West Mining), Rs.20 crore as a donation to the Prerna Trust run by Yeddyurappa's kin.
Though the findings were based on investigation and evidence collected, the CBI said the accused were presumed to be innocent till their guilt was established after a fair trial.
Yeddyurappa resigned July 31, 2011 after then Lokayukta (ombudsman) Justice N. Santosh Hegde held him guilty of bribery during the investigation into the mining scam.