Clearing the decks for trial, a Special CBI court on Thursday framed charges of conspiracy and cheating against former Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta and five others in a coal scam case relating to alleged irregularities in the allocation of a coal block in Chhattisgarh.
Charges were also framed by Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar against two senior public officials, K S Kropha and K C Samria, M/s JLD Yavatmal Energy Pvt Ltd, its Director Manoj Kumar Jayaswal and Vijay Darda’s son Devendra Darda.
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Charges were framed under IPC Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The prosecution alleged that Darda committed irregularities in allocating Fatehpur (East) coal block in Chhattisgarh to JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd. All accused pleaded not guilty, after which the court fixed December 16 for admission of documents. The court will record statements of prosecution witnesses on February 20.
“It has come on record that Vijay Darda wrote a number of letters to the PM (who was holding the coal portfolio) seeking allotment of Fatehpur (East) coal block in favour of M/s JLD. Vijay Darda at that time was a sitting MP and he too had specifically claimed in his letters dated 18.06.07 and 06.08.07 addressed to the then PM that JLD was promoted, managed and controlled by Lokmat Group and Industrial Development Finance Company Ltd. Thus once again there was a clear misrepresentation by Darda on behalf of JLD to claim the allotment,” the court had said on Darda’s role on an earlier occasion.