CBI won't appeal against BSY's acquittal in Rs 40-cr bribery case

Directorate of Prosecution rejects probe agency's request for appeal

CBI won't appeal against BSY's acquittal in Rs 40-cr bribery case

 Amidst troubles from the state Anti Corruption Bureau, former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has something to cheer about.

The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) Anti Corruption Branch has decided not to file an appeal challenging the senior BJP leader’s acquittal in a Rs 40-crore bribery case. Sources confirmed that the Directorate of Prosecution under the Ministry of Law and Justice has turned down the request for appeal sent by the CBI, Bengaluru.

A CBI special court had acquitted Yeddyurappa and 12 others in the Rs 40-crore bribery case in October 2016. The CBI court had also acquitted Yeddyurappa’s sons B Y Raghavendra and B Y Vijayendra, son-in-law Sohan Kumar and representatives of JSW Steel, of which Sajjan Jindal is the chairman.

Almost 10 months after the CBI court acquitted Yeddyurappa, the Union Government has decided not to file an appeal. Immediately after the order was pronounced, the special public prosecutor for the CBI had recommended to go for an appeal in the case. The CBI, Bengaluru had also sent a correspondence to Delhi. A review petition will have to be filed within three months of the order.

Earlier, the FIR registered by the Lokayukta police on similar charges carved out of the Lokayukta report (part-2), was quashed by the High Court of Karnataka. The Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into the case after Samaja Parivarthana Samudaya, an NGO, filed a petition.

Prof Vishnu Kamath, co-petitioner in the Supreme Court, said that there was no way left to persuade the CBI or the Centre to file the appeal. “To me, it looks like the CBI and the Centre do not want to file appeals against politicians and people linked to politicians. We had moved the Supreme Court this year since Centre and the CBI decided not to challenge discharge of former minister Gali Janardhana Reddy’s wife Lakshmi Aruna in the Associated Mining Company (AMC) case. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court is blowing hot and cold. On July 27, the bench took the CBI to task for not filing an appeal, however during the next hearing on August 9, it said it was up to the CBI. We do not want to face similar response in Yeddyurappa’s case,’’ he said.

The CBI special court had discharged Aruna and IAS officer M E Shivalingamurthy in the AMC case.

The request for appeal against the discharge of Aruna was turned down while the Centre cleared the appeal against Shivalingamurthy. The CBI case was that the AMC’s illegal mining had caused a loss of Rs 480 crore to the state exchequer.

The CBI case

The CBI case was that Yeddyurappa abused his official position, both as deputy chief minister and chief minister and illegally denotified the land in Rachenahalli in Bengaluru to obtain pecuniary advantage to his kins. The land notified for acquisition by Bangalore Development Authority was converted for non-agriculture purpose in violation of Karnataka Land Revenue Rules. Yeddyurappa’s sons purchased the land for Rs 20 lakh.

Around the same time, Yeddyurappa fixed premium on iron ore payable to Mysore Minerals Limited (MML) at 50% instead of 60% and caused a loss to the state exchequer to favour JSW Steels. As a quid pro quo, JSW advised its subsidiary companies to donate Rs 20 crore to Prerana Trust and purchased one acre in Rachenahalli by paying an inflated price of Rs 20 crore. However, the CBI court held that a request for donation by Prerana Trust could not be treated as a demand by Yeddyurappa. The order also said that Yeddyurappa’s decisions in the matter of denotification of land, fixation of premium on iron ore and imposition of ban on the export of iron ore were collective decision of the government.

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