In a huge relief to senior BJP leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, a special CBI court in Bengaluru on Wednesday acquitted him along with his two sons and son-in-law in a Rs. 40 crore illegal mining case of granting iron ore licenses during his tenure.
The acquittal will get legal sanctity to disprove allegations that the Lingayat strongman led the BJP’s first “corrupt” government in South and consolidate his leadership in the Karnataka BJP unit and gear the party for the assembly elections in 2018. Earlier, land cases against him was quashed by the Karnataka High Court on procedural grounds, which the Supreme Court upheld.
“Satyamave jayate (truth always triumphs)… Justice is done, I stand vindicated. Thanks to all well wishers, friends and supporters who stood with me in my tough times,” the 73-year-old posted on Twitter.
“Both the Congress and H D Devegowda’s Janata Dal Secular wanted to finish me off and they had joined hands to end my political life. I always have faith on judiciary and it comes to my rescue. They know that I am innocent. I want to lead a happy life after this,” said Yeddyurappa after acquitted in the case.
In August 2011, Mr. Yeddyurappa was forced to resign after Karnataka’s ombudsman or Lokayukta, Santosh Hegde, indicted him for colluding in illegal iron-ore mining in the mineral-rich district of Bellary. Justice Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge, had famously described a mafia of politicians, bureaucrats and industrialists running “The Republic of Bellary.”
CBI had filed a chargesheet in October 2015 against Yeddyurappa, his sons B Y Raghavendra and B Y Vijayendra and son-in-law Sohan Kumar, a Bellary-based private steel company and a Shimoga based Trust run by the family of Yeddyurappa for alleged abuse of official position and corruption.
The case also saw Yeddyurappa spend about three weeks in jail in October 2011 in connection with the case before he was granted bail.