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Ex-Coal Secy seeks to face trial from inside jail

Ex-Coal Secy seeks to face trial from inside jail

In a surprising move, former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, an accused in several coal scam cases and presently out on bail, today told a special court that he intended to “face trial from inside the jail” and withdraw his personal bond to secure bail due to financial difficulties.

After Gupta moved the application before Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar, the court “extensively enquired” from him about the reasons for filing such a plea.

Responding to the court’s query, the former bureaucrat said he was in financial difficulties, even for engaging a lawyer.

“Accused H C Gupta has moved an application seeking to withdraw his personal bond submitted earlier for his release on bail and also to withdraw the authorisation letter in favour of his advocates… Along with the application, a note explaining the reasons for moving the aforesaid application has also been annexed,” the court noted in its order.

“Gupta states that he does not wish to examine any witness in his defence and intends to face the trial from inside the jail. Upon this, Gupta was extensively enquired about the reasons for moving of the said application. Gupta also stated that he is also facing financial difficulties even in engaging a lawyer,” the judge said.

After Gupta told the court about financial difficulties in engaging lawyer, the court told him that if he was facing any such problem, he could be provided services of an advocate from New Delhi Legal Aid Services Authority or an amicus curiae can be appointed on his behalf.

Gupta, however, refused to avail such services, following which the court gave him time to think over his plea and posted the matter for hearing tomorrow.

Meanwhile, CBI said they would respond to Gupta’s plea.

During the day’s proceeding, the court talked to the wife and son of Gupta regarding the application moved by him.

“After getting the court room vacated from all persons present except the court staff, the undersigned (judge) had a talk with the wife and son of accused (Gupta) in open court and informed them about the application moved by Gupta,” the court noted in its order.

“Thereafter, Gupta was also called inside the court room and in the presence of court staff, the undersigned had a talk with him and his wife and son in the open court itself. Gupta has been given time to think over the plea made by him today in the application and has been told that a decision on the application shall be taken at a subsequent date,” it said.

(Source : PTI)

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