After raids, Yeddyurappa seeks pre-emptive bail

Following searches at the residences of former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and his kin in Bangalore and Shimoga conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation this morning, Yeddyurappa has filed anticipatory bail applications on behalf of himself, his two sons and his son-in-law.

Early this morning, a special nine-member CBI team launched raids on the premises of Yeddyurappa,  his sons B Y Raghavendra (MP) and B Y Vijayendra, and his son-in-law Sohan Kumar and his kin in connection with the iron ore mining scandal in the state.

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, reports said. The raids came a day after the CBI registered first information reports against the accused, acting on a directive from the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The charges relate to offences under the Indian Penal Code, including criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust; besides 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 return for donations made by them to a charitable trust run by his family.

JSW Steel has issued a press statement maintaining that the company ''has neither done any illegal activity nor is it connected with any wrongdoing''.

JSW has full faith in the judicial process and its books are open, and added it will fully cooperate with the investigating agencies, the statement said. "JSW group follows highest standards of corporate governance. JSW Steel is in fact the victim of alleged illegal mining," it added.