A special CBI court in Bengaluru today acquitted former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa in the Rs 40 crore bribery and corruption case. Yeddyurappa's family members have also been acquitted.
The case relates to alleged favours granted to an affiliate company of steel major JSW Steel to mine iron ore in the mineral-rich Bellary district of the state in August 2011.
Yeddyurappa, his two sons, a son-in-law, and the steel company and its affiliates have been cleared of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption charges.
"Justice is done, I stand vindicated," Yeddyurappa tweeted thanking all his well wishers, friends and supporters "who stood with me in my tough times". "Satyameva Jayate." he said.
"I am happy. I always had faith in the judiciary and hope the order will be bringing new inspiration to lakhs of our workers," the BJP leader said in his reaction to the acquittal.
The CBI's chargesheet filed on October 16, 2012, had accused Yeddyurappa and 12 others of corruption after it was alleged that Rs 20 crore was deposited in bank accounts belonging to Yeddyurappa’s sons and son-in-law between August and September 2010.
The chargesheet said an additional Rs 20 crore was donated by JSW Steel to a trust called Prerana Educational and Social Trust, run by Yeddyurappa’s sons.
Yeddyurappa was forced to resign as Karnataka's first BJP chief minister on July 31, 2011 following corruption charges against him and his kin in the multi-crore Bellary bribery scam.
The current chief of the BJP's Karnataka unit had left the party in a huff and formed the regional Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), winning six seats in the May 2013 Assembly election.
He, however, returned to the BJP in early 2014 after merging the KJP with it and was elected to the Lok Sabha in the May 2014 general elections from his home parliamentary constituency of Shivamogga in the state's Malnad region.