A special court on Thursday dismissed with cost the plea of a firm facing prosecution in a coal scam case to summon former Coal Minister Shibu Soren and then Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayana Rao, as additional accused in a matter pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of a Chhattisgarh coal block. Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar rejected the application and imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on the accused firm M/s JLD Yavatmal Energy Pvt Ltd. The court directed it to deposit the amount with the Delhi Legal Service Authority.
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The firm’s counsel Vijay Aggarwal had earlier cited a book written by former Coal Secretary P C Parekh, submitting that the ex-bureaucrat had apprised Soren and Rao that the existing system of coal blocks was discriminatory but both the politicians had overruled the concerns.
“The role of the said two persons (Soren and Rao) is clear from the book written by P C Parekh… Hence, viewed from this angle, it is clear that Shibu Soren, the then Minister of Coal in the Union Cabinet and Dasari Narayana Rao, then Minister of State for Coal, are the persons who are involved in the basic reason behind the entire facade,” the counsel had said. “On the basis of the above (book excerpts), Soren and Rao are ought to have been summoned as additional accused,” the plea had said.
Former Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda and others, including his son Devendra Darda and former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, the accused who were earlier granted bail, were on Thursday put on trial by the court. The court also framed charges against two senior public servants — K S Kropha and K C Samria — businessman Manoj Kumar Jayaswal and the firm.
The case pertains to the allocation of Fatehpur (East) coal block in Chhattisgarh to the accused firm. The court framed charges against the accused for the alleged offences under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 420 (cheating) of IPC and under relevant provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.