A special court would next month decide whether to put former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, two senior public servants and others on trial in a coal scam case relating to alleged irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block to a private firm. Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar put up the matter for November 10. The court had earlier heard arguments of CBI and the accused on framing of charges.
The court, meanwhile, allowed Jas Infrastructure Capital Pvt Ltd (JICPL)’s Director and co-accused Manoj Kumar Jayaswal to visit Prague from November 5 to 10 for business purposes. The CBI had filed the charge sheet against the accused – including Gupta, Jayaswal and two senior public servants K S Kropha and K C Samria and the firm — in the case pertaining to allocation of the Mahuagarhi coal block in Jharkhand.
The court had on July 31 last year issued summons to the accused after taking cognisance of CBI’s final report for
alleged offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating) of IPC and under relevant provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.
The court had earlier refused to accept the CBI’s closure report filed in the case and had directed it to further
investigate the matter. It had noted that it was prima facie clear that officers of Ministry of Coal or the screening committee had acted in a manner which was “detrimental” to public interest and they had allowed JAS Infrastructure and Power Ltd (JIPL), now known as JICPL, to “misappropriate” nationalised natural resources.
The agency had earlier filed a closure report in which it had lodged an FIR against the firm, Jayaswal and others for alleged irregularities by JIPL in acquiring the coal block. The FIR was lodged on the allegation that the company had not disclosed to the Ministry of Coal that it was already in possession of a coal block.