CBI files first charge sheet against Koda in graft case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed the first charge sheet against jailed former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda and his two associates in a graft case, a source in the federal agency said Saturday.

The charge sheet against Koda, Vinod Sinha and Sanjay Chaudhary was filed in a Ranchi vacation CBI court Friday. Both Koda and Sinha are in jail. Chaudhary is absconding.

“The investigation revealed that Koda and his associates had shown favour to a company by obtaining illegal gratification to the tune of Rs.13 crore in the matter of recommending the company for allotment of land for mining of iron ore,” said the CBI source.

The charge sheet said Sinha and Chaudhary played a key role in the mining contract and accepted kickbacks, the source said.

The CBI is investigating several corruption allegations against Koda and his associates. These include Rs.2,500 crore worth money laundering, amassing assets beyond known sources of income and taking kickbacks while awarding mining contracts.

The income tax department and the enforcement directorate raided the houses of Koda and others in October last year and February this year.

Koda is in jail since Nov 30 last year. He was arrested in a case of disproportionate assets.

Senior RSS leader named suspect in Ajmer blast case, denies charge

Senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Indresh Kumar was present when the conspiracy to carry out a blast at Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s shrine in Ajmer was hatched, according to the charge-sheet in the case. He has denied the charges.

However, Indresh Kumar has not been named as accused in the charge-sheet filed by the Rajasthan Police’s Anti-Terrorist Squad in an Ajmer court Friday. Five supporters of radical Hindu group Abhinav Bharat have been responsible for the Oct 11, 2007 blast, in which three people were killed and 30 injured.

“Indresh has so far not been made an accused in the case as further investigations are required, but he seems to be a conspirator,” a source in the ATS said.

The RSS leader termed the charges a “a political conspiracy” against him by the Congress government.

Rejecting any substance in the allegations, Indresh Kumar claimed that “the investigating agency has been used against me”.

He told the CNN-IBN newschannel that the RSS did not believe in violence and he would approach the court for justice.

The ATS has charged Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Chander Shekhar Lave, Sandeep Dange and Ramji Kalsangre with murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy, harming or defiling place of worship and other crimes.

Gupta, Sharma and Lave are in judicial custody while Dange and Kalsangre are absconding.

Another accused, Sunil Joshi, died during the course of investigation.

The 806-page charge sheet says that the conspiracy for the bomb blast was hatched during a meeting held in room number 26 of Gujarati Samaj Guesthouse situated near MI Road in Jaipur Oct 21, 2005. The accused had checked in under false names.

According to the charge sheet, Indresh Kumar was present at the secret meeting in which six other functionaries of the outfit were also present.

“Indresh suggested that they attach themselves to some religious organisation so that they can pass themselves off as pilgrims,” the charge-sheet says.

Swami Asinanand of Abhinav Bharat Sangthan and Sadhvi Pragya of Jai Vande Matram Sangthan were also present in the meeting where not only was the conspiracy hatched but different tasks were also assigned to some of the conspirators, the ATS said.

According to the ATS, the bombs were made in Indore and the area where the bombs were to be planted were identified in a meeting held in Dang area of Gujarat between Feb 11 and 13, 2007.