In a big relief to state BJP strongman BS Yeddyurappa, Karnataka high court on Wednesday quashed an FIR against him in an illegal mining case based on the Lokayukta report that had caused his exit as chief minister.
A division bench comprising justices Bhakstavatsala and Govindaraju passed the order allowing an application filed by Yeddyurappa challenging the Lokayukta police FIR and also governor HR Bhardwaj's action directing Lokayukta to initiate criminal proceedings against him in August last.
Yeddyurappa's contention that proceedings were launched against him without giving him an opportunity to explain was upheld by the court.
The verdict comes a major morale booster to Yeddyurappa, who had quit the chief minister's post in the wake of his indictment by Lokayukta report on illegal mining submitted on July 27 by the then anti-corruption ombudsman Santosh Hegde.
BJP central leadership had forced Yeddyurappa to quit on July 31 last in the wake of the Lokayukta findings.
The report had cited receipt of a Rs 10 crore donation from South West Mining Company to the Prerana Trust owned and managed by Yeddyurpapa's family and another Rs 20 crore paid for purchase of 1.02 acres in Rachenahalli by the mining firm.
Hegde in his report had observed that these payments were made to Prerana Trust in anticipation of getting some favours by the mining company, a charge Yeddyurappa had rejected.
Sandeep Patil, counsel for Yeddyurappa, welcomed the order and said it was a major victory for him as he had quit chief ministership on the basis of this report.