M A I N   N E W S

Yeddyurappa sent to jail on graft charges
nIn judicial remand till Oct 22 n Former colleague also denied bail n Karnataka ex-CM to challenge the Lokayukta court order in HC
Shubhadeep Choudhury/TNS

BS Yeddyurappa being arrested in Bangalore.
BS Yeddyurappa being arrested in Bangalore. — PTI

Bangalore, October 15
In a big blow to the BJP’s ongoing campaign against corruption, former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, the first BJP leader to hold the post in a southern state, was today arrested and sent to prison by a Lokayukta court on corruption charges.

After playing hide and seek with the Lokayukta police, Yeddyurappa, who had resigned from the Chief Minister’s post on July 31 after being indicted by former Lokayukta Santosh Hegde in his report on illegal mining, surrendered before the Lokayukta special court judge NK Sudhindra Rao in the evening. The judge ordered seven-day judicial remand for Yeddyurappa. The former Chief Minister was taken to the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison located on the outskirts of Bangalore.

Earlier, Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, involved in the Rs 2,000-crore money laundering scam, was on arrested on November 30, 2009, by the state vigilance bureau. Koda is facing investigations from the vigilance department, IT department and Enforcement Directorate.

Yeddyurappa’s arrest today has nothing to do with Hegde’s report on illegal mining. It pertains to private complaints filed by two advocates Srirajin Basha and K N Balaraj with regard to de-notification of government acquired lands by Yeddyurappa when he was Chief Minister.

In January, the Governor H R Bhardwaj gave sanction for prosecution of Yeddyurappa, then the Chief Minister, following petitions submitted to him by Basha and Balaraj.

Today’s events, which have already cast a shadow on L K Advani’s ongoing “yatra” against corruption, unfolded with the Lokayukta court rejecting Yeddyurappa’s bail plea and issuing arrest warrant against him in connection with cases regarding alleged irregularities in de-notification of government lands.

The court also denied bail to Yeddyurappa's former ministerial colleague S N Krisnaiah Setty, BJP MLA, but gave relief to 14 other accused, including the former Chief Minister’s sons B Y Raghavendra, Lok Sabha MP and B Y Vijayendra, and son-in-law Sohan Kumar. Setty, who collapsed in the court after being denied bail, has been also lodged in the Parappana Agrahara Jail.

Yeddyurappa was not present in the court in the morning citing health reasons. After the court denied him bail and issued arrest warrant against him, a 15-member team of the Lokayukta police went to his official residence at the Race Course Road - one which was his residence when he was the CM - to arrest him but returned empty handed. The police later went to Yeddyurappa’s private residence at Dollar Colony in Bangalore, but he was not to be found there also. Later, Yeddyurappa emerged at the special Lokayukta court and surrendered before the judge. Sporting his trademark white safari, Yeddyurappa managed to have a smile on his face even when he was being transported to prison by the police.

The former Chief Minister (now “qaidi no 9118” in the prison) has been kept in a separate cell with attached toilet and bath facilities and a television set.

BJP chief whip in the Assembly Jeevraj, BJP MLA Belur Gopalakrishnan and MLA and former minister Hartal Halappa (who is facing rape charges and is out in bail) met Yeddyurappa in the prison in the evening.

The Lokayukta court last month had fixed October 3 for pronouncing its verdict on the bail pleas of Yeddyurappa and others, but had to postpone it following an interim stay granted by the High court on its proceedings.

On September 30, a single judge had issued an interim stay on the Lokayukta court proceedings following a petition filed by Yeddyurappa. However, a division bench had vacated the stay on October four, facilitating the Lokayukta court to continue the proceedings.

Counsel for Yeddyurappa, Ravi B Naik, told reporters that the former Chief Minister would challenge in the High Court the Lokayukta court order and seek bail.

Soon after the Lokayukta court turned down bail to Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda held consultations with some of his ministerial colleagues at his Home Office “Krishna”. Later, Gowda told reporters that Yeddyurappa would emerge victorious in the trial by fire.

While the Opposition Congress party is celebrating Yeddyurappa’s arrest, Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumarswamy, who is believed to have backed Basha and Balaraj in their court battle against Yeddyurappa, said he was sad at what happened to Yeddyurappa. 

“Qaidi no 9118”

Yeddyurappa managed to have a smile on his face even when he was being transported to prison by the police. The former BJP CM (now “qaidi no 9118” in the prison) has been kept in a separate cell with attached toilet and bath facilities and a television set.

Relief for kin

The court denied bail to Yeddyurappa's former ministerial colleague SN Krisnaiah Setty, BJP MLA, but gave relief to 14 other accused, including the former CM’s sons — BY Raghavendra (LS MP) and BY Vijayendra — and son-in-law Sohan Kumar.

Koda still in jail

Madhu Koda has been in jail for nearly one year and 10 months on charges of money laundering when he was Chief Minister of Jharkhand between 2006 and 2008. He is accused of siphoning off Rs 2,000 crore and owning mines in Thailand and Liberia.




Cases that nailed BJP leader

The cases that resulted in 
BS Yeddyurappa landing up in prison are de-notifying 2.5 acres of land at Arakere village and 1.7 acres at Devarachikkanahalli village in south Bangalore and 1.21 acres at Gedalahalli village in east Bangalore when he was the Chief Minister from May 30, 2008, to July 31, 2011.

The complaint against Yeddyurappa, his two sons, son-in-law, former state minister Krishnaiah Shetty, and BJP lawmaker Hemchandra Sagar and nine others was that the lands were sold in contravention of the laws.

The charge against Yeddyurappa and others was that they conspired to de-notify these lands for making monetary gains, including purchasing the lands in “benami”.

The two cases are among the five filed by two Bangalore advocates Sirajin Basha and K N Balaraj on January 23 this year after Governor H R Bhardwaj gave them sanction to launch criminal proceedings against Yeddyurappa and others.





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