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Coal scam: Accused seeks joint trial

Coal scam: Accused seeks joint trial

Businessman Manoj Kumar Jayaswal, an accused in three coal block allocation scam cases, today sought a joint trial in these matters, saying the nature of offences alleged against him were similar.

His counsel told Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar that various witnesses and documents were common in the three matters and, except former Minister of State for Coal Santosh Bagrodia and retired public servant L S Janoti who are accused in one of these three cases, all the others facing prosecution have not objected to the plea seeking a joint trial.

Jayaswal is accused in three cases pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks to AMR Iron and Steel Private Limited, JLD Yavatmal Energy Private Limited and JAS Infrastructure and Power Limited, now known as Jas Infrastructure Capital Private Limited (JICPL).

“Only two persons (Bagrodia and Janoti) are opposing my plea. They have no say in JAS and JLD cases as they are not an accused in these two matters. Besides them, all the other accused in these three matters have given a no-objection on my plea for joint trial,” advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for Jayaswal, said.

He said the allegations regarding concealment of facts of coal allocation to previous group firms and their net worth were there in all the three cases.

Opposing his plea, the counsel representing Janoti argued that number of documents and witnesses would be huge if these three cases are clubbed together.

“I (Janoti) am accused in only one case. These are three different cases which relate to allocation of different coal blocks,” the lawyer said.

Senior advocate N Hariharan, who appeared for Bagrodia, sought some time to argue on the issue, saying Jayaswal’s counsel has submitted certain additional written submissions which he needed to go through before advancing his arguments.

He said that since Bagrodia who is opposing the plea for joint trial is accused in only one case, he may be supplied with copy of charge sheet and documents of the other two cases as well so that he can argue on it.

At this stage, Jayaswal’s counsel said he will supply the copies of documents to the lawyers representing Bagrodia and Janoti during the day, after which the court fixed the matter for further arguments on March 28.

( Source – PTI )

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