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Bribery charges against Yeddyurappa need probe: Panel

Karnataka,Politics, Thu, 29 Mar 2012 IANS

Bangalore, March 29 (IANS) A Supreme Court panel has recommended a probe into the charges that former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa's family members had received Rs.6 crore in kickbacks from a mining firm.


The Central Empowered Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court to probe illegal mining and related bribery cases in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, submitted its recommendation Thursday to the apex court in New Delhi.


Reacting to the report, Yeddyurappa's son B.Y. Vijayendra said in a statement late Thursday here that the amount was not a kickback but a loan taken through cheques.


The allegation is that Praveen Chandra, a mine operator, had given Rs.2.5 crore to a firm run by Yeddyurappa's son-in-law R. N. Sohan Kumar and Rs.3.5 crore to another firm owned by Vijayendra and his brother B.Y. Raghavendra as a favour for facilitating license.


Raghavendra is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha member from Karnataka.


Vijayendra said the CEC report states that "the mining operations of Praveen Chandra are completely legal, however in the interest of the public, the above cheque transactions needs to be investigated".


The allegation has been made by an NGO, Samaaja Parivarthana Samudaya. The NGO has sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.


The Supreme Court is likely to consider the CEC report Friday to decide whether the charges need a CBI probe.


In the statement Vijayendra said his father Yeddyurappa, who quit July 31 last year over corruption charges and is pressuring his party's national leaders for re-instatement, had not given any licence to Chandra.


Vijayendra said Chandra's mining application was made to the central government in 2002 and approved by it in 2006 when Yeddyurappa was not the chief minister. He assumed office in May 2008.


"After the central government's recommendation, the state government has passed final notification order Oct 12, 2010," he said.


Vijayendra said of the Rs.6 crore, which he claimed were "unsecured loans" taken in Nov 2009 though cheques, Rs.2.5 crores had been paid back to Chandra.


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