CBI charges Yeddyurappa, JSW Steel in graft case

Former Karnataka chief minister B S YeddyurappaHe Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday filed chargesheets against former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa as the prime accused in a mining scandal. His sons B Y Vijayendra and B Y Raghavendra and son-in-law R N Sohan Kumar have also been charged along with officials of Sajjan Jindal's JSW steel and the South West Mining Co, which is connected to JSW.

The charges are in keeping with the directions of the Supreme Court in May to probe the case. Yeddyurappa has been accused of receiving a Rs20-crore kickback from South West Mining in return for waiving Rs890 crore due to the state government from the company.

Others named in the chargesheet filed in the special CBI court in Bangalore are JSW chief executive Vinod Nowal and senior vice-president V Sharma.

JSW has issued a statement that it has not received copy of charges against its officers. ''It is premature to comment before receiving charges. The company has cooperated with authorities during probe,'' JSW Steel said.

It further said that conclusions drawn by the said authorities leading to chargesheet are without basis. ''The company always abides by law of the country and would present its case before the court,'' JSW Steel said. The company has full faith in the judiciary that justice will be done, it added.

The CBI said in a press release, ''Investigation has revealed that the said amount of Rs20 crore was illegal gratification received from the Bellary-based private company as a quid pro quo for not insisting on the recovery of Rs890 crore from the same company, which is the loss caused to a government of Karnataka PSU by a joint venture with the same private steel company.''