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Coal scam: Court concludes recording of prosecution evidence

Coal scam: Court concludes recording of prosecution evidence

A special court today concluded recording of prosecution evidence in a coal block allocation scam case in which accused firm Rathi Steel and Power Limited (RSPL) and its three officials are facing trial.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar has now fixed the matter for recording of statements of accused on December 15.

The court had earlier framed charges against RSPL and its three top officials – Managing Director Pradeep Rathi, Chief Executive Officer Udit Rathi and AGM Kushal Aggarwal, for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy read with cheating.

While framing charges, the court had observed that the accused had conspired and furnished wrong information to get the coal block and “misappropriated” nationalised natural resources.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Kesla North coal block in Chhattisgarh to RSPL.

After the court had framed charges against them, all the accused had pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

The three individual accused were earlier granted bail by the court after they had appeared before it pursuant to the summons issued against them.

CBI had chargesheeted RSPL and Udit Rathi only as an accused for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy and cheating.

After considering the charge sheet, the court had issued summons to all four accused, including Pradeep Rathi and Kushal Aggarwal.

It had noted that these officials had appeared before the screening committee to make a representation and submit a feedback form on February 7, 2008 on behalf of RSPL.

CBI had lodged an FIR against RSPL, its directors, Udit Rathi and members of the 36th screening committee and other unnamed persons for offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) of the IPC and under Prevention of Corruption Act.

A charge sheet was later filed against RSPL and Udit Rathi only. Regarding other directors of RSPL or members of the 36th screening committee, CBI had said allegations against them could not be substantiated during the probe.

( Source – PTI )

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