The prosecution had failed to prove there was a meeting of mind and dominant object of a conspiracy between B S Yeddyurappa and 12 other accused, the CBI court has held while acquitting him and others in its verdict in a Rs 40 crore graft case related to illegal mining.
The CBI is controlled by the central government.
The court which pronounced its judgement on Wednesday, copy of which was available today, also did not find even an “iota of evidence” to prove that the former chief minister has abused his official position as a public servant.
“The prosecution has failed to prove there was a meeting of mind and dominant object of a conspiracy between accused Number One, Yeddyurappa and 12 others including B Y Vijayendra and B Y Raghavendra, his sons,” Judge R B Dharmagoudar said in his order.
The judge observed that an offence of conspiracy cannot be deemed to have been established on mere suspicion and surmises or inferences which are not supported by cogent evidence.
He also said the prosecution failed to prove each and every circumstances so as to complete the chain and “suspicion cannot take the place of a legal proof”.
The petitioner had alleged that Yeddyurappa in furtherance of a conspiracy, by abusing his official position as a public servant, had illegally denotified Rachenahalli land here to obtain pecuniary advantage to his kin and fixed premium of iron ore at 50 per cent and suppressed the loss suffered by state-owned Mysore Minerals Ltd (MML).
The petitioner had also alleged Yeddyurappa had imposed ban on export of iron ore to favour JSW Steel Limited and in turn obtained a pecuniary advantage to his kin as a quid-pro- quo from South West Mining Limited and other two accused in the form of inflated sale price and in the form of donation to Prerana Educational and Social Trust, run by Yeddyurappa’s family.
Pronouncing his judgement, Dharmagoudar said the prosecution has failed to prove that Yeddyurappa abused his official position in denotifying Rachenahalli land for obtaining a pecuniary advantage to his two sons and son-in-law Sohan Kumar.
CBI had filed a charge sheet in 2012 against Yeddyurappa, his sons and son-in-law, Prerana Trust, M/s South West Mining Company and Bellary-based M/s JSW Steel for alleged abuse of official position and corruption invoking Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the India Penal Code and various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.