A special court today said it would pronounce in a fortnight its order on framing of charges in a coal block allocation case in which former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and five others are accused.
The court sought some clarifications regarding sanction to prosecute public servants under section 197 of the CrPC and fixed the matter for order.
“Certain clarifications have been sought. Put up for order on October 1,” Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said.
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to accused firm Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL).
Besides Gupta and the firm, the other accused in the case are two senior government officers, K S Kropha and K C Samria, KSSPL’s Managing Director Pawan KumarAhluwalia and chartered accountant Amit Goyal.
Kropha was the then Joint Secretary in Ministry of Coal, while Samria was the then Director (Coal Allocation-I) section in the ministry.
The court on October 13 last year had summoned them as accused after refusing to accept CBI’s closure report.
They were summoned for alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) and 420 (cheating) of IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The accused were earlier granted bail by the court.
CBI had lodged an FIR against KSSPL, its officials and other unknown persons for alleged misrepresentation of facts, including inflated net worth, to acquire the coal block.
During the arguments on framing of charges, Gupta had claimed that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had given the “final approval” for allocation of coal block to KSSPL.
CBI had refuted his claim and said that the then Prime Minister, who was also holding the portfolio of Coal Ministry at that time, was “kept in the dark” and it was the then Coal Secretary who had “misled” the senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The advocates representing other accused had argued that there was no evidence on record warranting framing of charges against them in the case.
( Source – PTI )