In a major relief to senior BJP leader and former Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa, a CBI special court today acquitted him and all others in the Rs 40 crore mining bribery case.
In a judgement delivered at a packed court hall, Judge RB Dharmagouder also exonerated nine other accused in the kickback case which had cost Yeddyurappa his chief ministership in 2011 following indictment by the then Lok Ayukta Santosh Hegde.
CBI had filed a chargesheet in October 2015 against Yeddyurappa, his sons BY Raghavendra and BY Vijayendra and son-in-law Sohan Kumar, a Bellary-based private steel company and a Shimoga based Trust run by the family of Yeddyurappa for alleged abuse of official position and corruption.
The case also saw Yeddyurappa spend about three weeks in jail in October 2011 in connection with the case before he was granted bail.
The accused had been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption, according to the CBI chargesheet which had alleged involvement of Rs 40 crore kickbacks, including Rs 20 crore that was allegedly paid to a trust run by the Yeddyurappa's family, for granting favours, including mining licenses, during his chief ministership.
"Satyameva Jayathe. Justice is done. I stand vindicated," a relieved Yeddyurappa tweeted shortly after the verdict.
"I am happy that false allegations and politically motivated charges have been dismissed," the state BJP strongman, who has returned as the state BJP chief earlier this year, told reporters.
He said the court verdict had come as a relief to lakhs of BJP workers and gave a "new fillip" to him to bring back the party to power in the next Assembly polls in Karnataka.