Bangalore: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted searches at the homes of former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and the offices of JSW Steel Ltd as part of investigations in a case regarding alleged kickbacks for permitting illegal mining in the state.
A team of CBI officials searched eight of Yeddyurappa’s residences at Bangalore and Shimoga on Wednesday morning. A CBI team also searched the offices of JSW Steel Ltd and South West Mining Co. Ltd at Bellary. “Various incriminating documents have been found during the searches,” CBI said in a press release.
Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa, his sons B.Y. Raghavendra, a Lok Sabha member, and B.Y. Vijayendra, and son-in-law Sohan Kumar sought anticipatory bail at the CBI court. The court has directed CBI to file any objections by Thursday , when the matter will come up for hearing.
Speaking to the press, Yeddyurappa said he would cooperate with CBI officials and had faith in CBI and the judiciary.
The raids come a day after the CBI filed a first information report at the special CBI court in Bangalore that accused Yeddyurappa and his family, along with businessman Praveen Chandra, and South West Mining Co. Ltd.
A case for offences under the Indian Penal Code, including criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust, has been registered as also under provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and Prevention of Corruption Act against Yeddyurappa.
Last Friday, the Supreme Court had ordered a CBI inquiry after the Central Empowered Committee (CEC)—a court appointed committee to look into environmental issues—found a prima facie case against Yeddyurappa.
The CEC report found that in 2008, Yeddyurappa had denotified 1 acre of government land in Bangalore purchased by two of his sons and a son-in-law. The land was subsequently sold to South West Mining, a Jindal Group company, for Rs 20 crore—about 50 times higher than what Yeddyurappa’s family purchased it for.
The CEC also found that Prerana Education Society, a trust set up by Yeddyurappa’s family, had received a donation of Rs 10 crore from South West Mining. The CEC report also notes that the Lokayukta report contained a number of allegations against the Jindal firm for being a beneficiary of illegal mining.
JSW Steel Ltd in a press release said it has neither done any illegal activity nor was it connected with any wrong doing. “JSW group follows highest standards of corporate governance. JSW Steel is in fact the victim of alleged illegal mining,” it said.
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