Coalscam: Court allows Darda to travel abroad

CoalscamA Delhi court today allowed the plea of Devendra Darda, who along with his father Vijay Darda, a Rajya Sabha MP, is accused in a coal block allocation scam case, to travel to the USA and the UAE for business purpose.

Special CBI Judge Madhu Jain permitted Devendra to travel to the USA and the UAE from June 8 to July 2, 2014, while brushing aside the contentions of CBI that there was every likelihood that he may misuse the liberty granted to him.

During the hearing, CBI opposed the plea contending that if allowed, Devendra may abscond resulting in delay of trial.

The court, however, said no reasons have been stated by CBI which could suggest that the accused could abscond.

“In the facts and circumstances, the application of Devendra Darda seeking permission to travel abroad to USA and UAE from June 8, 2014 to July 2, 2014 for business purpose is allowed,” the court said.

The court also imposed certain conditions on Devendra saying “he shall inform personally to the investigating officer about his arrival in India within 24 hours of his arrival and shall appear before the court within 48 hours.

It also said the accused will not request for extension of time for staying abroad and shall not tamper with the evidence or try to influence any witness in any manner.

Devendra had, in his petition filed through his advocate Vijay Aggarwal, sought the court’s permission to travel abroad for business purposes.

On May 23, the court had granted bail to Vijay Darda and Devendra after they had appeared before it in pursuance to summons issued against them by the court which took cognisance of CBI’s charge sheet.

Besides them, Nagpur-based AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd’s Director Manoj Jayaswal, also an accused in the case along with the company, was granted bail on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs two lakh and a surety of the like amount.

Vijay Darda, Devendra, Jayaswal and the firm were named as accused in CBI’s charge sheet filed on March 27 in which the agency had alleged that they had fraudulently acquired coal blocks.

Darda and three others were chargesheeted for the offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of the IPC and under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

Regarding AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, CBI had claimed in its FIR that the firm, in its application form for allocation of coal blocks, had “fraudulently” concealed the fact that its group firms had previously been allocated five coal blocks.

Detailing the allocation of coal blocks to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, the agency had alleged in its FIR that the Ministry of Coal had invited applications for allocation of coal blocks, including Bander coal block in Maharashtra having geological reserve of 126.105 million metric tonnes (MMT).

CBI had claimed the 36th Screening Committee, which was headed by the Coal Secretary, after concluding its deliberations on July 3, 2008, recommended allocation of Bander coal block jointly to J K Cement Ltd, M/s Century Textiles and Industries LtdBSE -0.25 % and AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd for their proposed plants in Karnataka and Maharashtra respectively.

(Source: PTI)