The CBI filed a chargesheet on Thursday against former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, former Union coal secretary Harish Chandra Gupta and five others, including three public servants, in connection with the allocation of the Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand in 2008 to Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Limited.
The special court had on September 4 returned the final report filed by the CBI in the case, observing that the agency had failed to give any plausible explanation to its queries and that there was no legally admissible logic or reasoning in the final report.
The CBI has also filed chargesheets in two other coal block allocation cases, as well as a closure report in a fourth case.
Besides Koda and Gupta, the Rajhara North coal block chargesheet has been filed against Vini Iron and Steel, former Jharkhand chief secretary Ashok Kumar Basu, the then director (mines) in Jharkhand Bipin Bihari Singh, the then section officer in the Jharkhand department of mines Basant Kumar Bhattacharya, the promoter of Vini Iron and Steel Vaibhav Tulsiyan and an individual named Vijay Joshi.
They have been charged with criminal conspiracy and cheating under the IPC, with sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act also applied for abuse of official position.
The CBI had filed an FIR in the case on September 3, 2012. “The allegations against former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda pertain to abuse of official position and recommending an ineligible company for coal block allocation,” said a CBI official.
A screening committee in Jharkhand had vetted applications from 210 companies and selected 10 for coal block allocations. According to a CAG report of the Jharkhand revenue sector, when recommendation of the screening committee was sent in June 2007 to Koda, who was then CM, he modified and altered the names and made final recommendations to the Centre without providing any reasons.