Wednesday, February 28, 2024

CBI launches probe against Yeddyurappa

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Bangalore: In more trouble for beleaguered former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, CBI on Wednesday raided his and his family members’ residences and two mining firms as it launched a probe into his alleged role in illegal mining in line with a Supreme Court directive.

A day after registering an FIR, CBI officials conducted the raids at eight premises belonging to Yeddyurappa, his sons B Y Raghavendra, a Lok Sabha member, and B Y Vijayendra as well as son-in-law Sohan Kumar in Bangalore and Shimoga district.

The CBI also raided the offices of JSW Steel and South West Mining Company Limited in Bellary, besides searching the house of a mining leaseholder, police sources said.

The crackdown by the central agency came after it registered a case for offences under IPC including criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust besides under the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and Prevention of Corruption Act.

Yeddyurappa has been accused of granting undue favours to the two firms in lieu of donations made by them to a charitable trust run by his family.

The raids, which began at 6.15 AM, were being conducted by a joint team of CBI officials from Hyderabad and Bangalore.

The searches were held at Yeddyurappa’s residences in Dollars Colony and Race Course Road here and a firm owned by one of his sons.

The Supreme Court order for the CBI probe came after an empowered committee set up by it submitted its report and pointing out several allegations against Yeddyurappa and corporate entities and recommending a CBI probe.

Meanwhile, JSW Steel in a press statement maintained “It has neither done any illegal activity nor was it connected with any wrong doing.”

The company said it has full faith in the judicial process and its books are open and added it will fully cooperate with the investigating agencies.

“JSW group follows highest standards of corporate governance. JSW Steel is in fact the victim of alleged illegal mining,” it said.

The apex court order had dashed Yeddyurappa’s hopes of making a comeback as the chief minister, a post he relinquished in last July after the then Lokayukta Santosh Hegde indicted him in his report on illegal mining.

With the party central leaders asking him to come clean in all corruption cases against him for his reinstatement, Yeddyurappa has been flexing his muscle to demonstrate his hold over the party in Karnataka.

After creating a crisis that threatened the D V Sadananda Gowda Government, Yeddyurappa on Monday said he had decided to quit the party but was not going ahead with it for now.

Apart from nine ministers loyal to him submitting their resignations to him, Yeddyurappa had praised Congress President Sonia Gandhi for ‘protecting’ her leaders facing crisis unlike his party, causing more embarrassment to BJP.

Yeddyurappa’s cup of woes is already full with several corruption cases filed in the Lokayukta court for alleged irregularities in land denotifications.

Two CBI teams raided the residences of Yeddyurappa in Shimoga and Shikaripura, his assembly constituency.

The team questioned Yeddyurappa’s daughter B Y Arunadevi and son-in-law S Udaykumar, a report from Shimoga said.

CBI officials refused to divulge the details but sources said some documents were seized from the residences.

The teams also raided the premises of “Prerana Trust” which runs an engineering college on the city outskirts.

The trust had allegedly received donations from two mining companies. (PTI)

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