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The special CBI court has summoned former Minister of State Dilip Ray, who was minister in the NDA government in 1999, as an accused along with five others in connection with alleged irregularities in the allocation of Brahmadiha coal block in Jharkhand’s Giridih to accused firm Castron Technologies Ltd.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar has summoned, besides Ray, Pradip Kumar Banerjee, then Additional Secretary in Coal Ministry, Nitya Nand Gautam, then advisor (projects) in the ministry, Castron Technologies Ltd, its director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla and Castron Mining as accused.
Ray is the first minister of an NDA government who has been summoned as an accused in connection with the coal block allocation cases. “It is… prima facie clear that the decision made by the Screening Committee and the subsequent relaxation of guidelines by Minister of State for Coal, Dilip Ray, was made without keeping public interest in mind and with manifest disregard to the consequences that such an act would surely undermine the public interest,” the court said.
The accused have been summoned on the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust under the sections of the IPC and under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The court has directed all the accused to appear before it on February 26.
“The public servants involved in the coal block allocation process abused their official position… while acting in contravention of directions in which the duties attached to their offices were to be discharged to ensure distribution of the important nationalised natural resources of the country objectively and in a transparent manner,” the special court said.