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Coal scam: Accused seeks joint trial of 3 cases

Coal scam: Accused seeks joint trial of 3 cases

A businessman, facing prosecution in three separate coal block allocation scam cases, has approached a special court seeking joint trial in all of them saying the FIRs were “closely knitted” and the alleged offences pertained to same transaction.

Businessman Manoj Kumar Jayaswal is accused in three cases pertaining to the alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, JLD Yavatmal Energy Pvt Ltd and JAS Infrastructure and Power Ltd, which is now known as Jas Infrastructure Capital Pvt Ltd (JICPL).

In the AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd case, former Minister of State for Coal Santosh Bagrodia, Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda are also accused along with him.

The Dardas are also accused with him in JLD Yavatmal’s case while ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta is facing prosecution in all these three cases.

Another application has also been filed in the court by AMR in which the firm has sought summoning of two government servants, Ashish Gupta and V S Rana, as additional accused in its case.

Gupta was posted as a director in the Prime Minister’s Office during 2006 and 2009 while Rana was a Deputy Secretary in the Home Ministry last year.

Seeking summoning of Gupta and Rana as additional accused in the case, the firm alleged that “grave suspicion exists” against them and there was sufficient material on record to proceed against them in the matter.

Both the applications were filed before special CBI judge Bharat Parashar who has fixed it for hearing on January 18.

In his petition, filed through advocate Vijay Aggarwal, Jayaswal has said that his defence in these three cases was same and if these matters are not tried jointly, then it would prejudice him.

“The applicant (Jayaswal) very respectfully submits before this court that all the aforesaid cases/FIRs are closely knitted and related to each other and in all the cases the applicant has been arrayed as one of the accused,” it said, adding, “All the cases are based on the same cause of action and are outcome of the similar alleged conspiracy.
Jayaswal also contended in his plea that list of

documents and witnesses in these cases were “almost similar” and all these matters arise out of the alleged same conspiracy.

“The allegations made in all three cases reveal that act of alleged conspiracy, that is, misrepresentation of net worth of those companies and fraudulently and willfully concealing the fact of previous allocations to the group companies with an object to avoid scrutiny on this count which would have weakened its claim, it would be just appropriate to club and consolidate the trial of all three cases,” the plea said.

The AMR’s case pertains to the alleged irregularities in allocation of Bander coal block in Maharashtra to the firm while JLD’s case relates to allocation of Fatehpur (East) coal block in Chhattisgarh.

JAS firm was allotted Mahuagarhi coal block in Jharkhand.

All the accused in these three cases were earlier granted bail by the court and these matters are fixed for commencement of arguments on framing of charges.

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