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Coal scam: CBI gets two months to respond to Javadekar’s plea

by Manish Sen
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New Delhi: A special court today granted CBI two months to respond to the objections of Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Hansraj Ahir against its move to close a coal scam case.

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar allowed the probe agency’s plea seeking time to reply to the ministers’ petition in the case allegedly involving Prakash Industries Ltd (PIL) and others as accused. The court posted the matter for further hearing on May 5.

Central Vigilance Commission had started its proceedings on the complaints made by both the ministers.

They had alleged in their petition that PIL had deliberately misrepresented facts to the 35th Screening Committee with the connivance of others to get the coal block in Chhattisgarh and that the CBI had wrongly accepted the claims made by the accused.

Their petition came in response to the court’s earlier notice asking them if they wanted to submit anything on the final report in the case.

The court had issued notices to both the ministers after CVC Director Sanjay Agarwal had informed it that the anti- graft watchdog was not a complainant in the matter and had no role to play in the case. It was these two leaders on whose complaint the CVC had started its proceedings, he had said.

The court had said that before accepting CBI’s closure report, it was duty-bound to issue notice to the complainant.

It had directed the CVC to clarify its stand on CBI’s closure report in which an FIR was lodged following CVC’s reference against PIL and others in connection with alleged irregularities in allocation of Chhattisgarh’s Fatehpur coal block.
In its closure report, CBI had said no incriminating

evidence had come on record warranting prosecution of any of the accused.

According to the CBI, the Fatehpur coal block was allocated jointly to PIL and another firm by 35th Screening Committee.

The FIR was lodged against PIL, its three officials, some officials of the Coal Ministry and others on the charge that the firm had misrepresented its net worth while applying for the block.

The FIR was registered under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of the IPC and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

CBI had alleged in its FIR that while the company had misrepresented facts relating to its net worth, the screening committee had deliberately not followed the guidelines and showed undue favour to it.


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