Coal Scam: CBI to Argue on Koda's Petition to Summon Ex-PM on Sept 28

New Delhi
Coal Scam: CBI to Argue on Koda's Petition to Summon Ex-PM on Sept 28

CBI would make its stand clear on September 28 before a special court on the application filed by ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda seeking summoning of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and two others as accused in a coal block allocation scam case.

Special public prosecutor R S Cheema, who was scheduled to argue on Koda's plea today, requested Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar that another date be given for arguments as he would take an hour to address his arguments, as the matter was taken up in the afternoon.

The judge later fixed the next date of hearing on September 28.

During the brief discussion, the judge said he had time and again suggested to Koda's advocate that he should argue his plea along with the arguments on framing of charges in the case "but he is insisting that his plea should be decided before arguments on charges."

To this, Koda's counsel said he would urge the court to decide his plea before the stage of charge as the outcome of his application will have an impact on arguments on charges.

Yesterday, ex-Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao had supported Koda's plea seeking summoning of Manmohan Singh, who was also the then Coal Minister, claiming that the office of the then Prime Minister had allocated a coal block to Jindal group after examining and re-examining the matter.

Koda, Rao and 13 others, including former MP Naveen Jindal, were chargesheeted by CBI in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to Jindal group firms -- Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL).

Koda, one of the 15 accused in the case, had moved an application seeking to summon Manmohan Singh and two others -- Anand Swaroop, the then Secretary (Energy), and Jai Shankar Tiwari, then Secretary (Mines and Geology)-- as additional accused in the case.

CBI had on September 4 told the court that all the accused in the case should clarify whether they supported or opposed Koda's plea.

Koda, in his plea seeking to summon Singh as an additional accused, had contended that the former Prime Minister being the final authority to allocate coal blocks, cannot escape from the consequences of his decision.

In his plea, Koda had claimed, "the materials placed by CBI shows that the said conspiracy, if any, cannot be complete without the involvement of the Coal Minister (Singh) who had the final say in the entire allotment."

The other accused in the case are -- ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta, Rajeev Jain, Director of Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Girish Kumar Suneja and Radha Krishna Saraf, Directors of GSIPL, Suresh Singhal, Director of New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd, K Ramakrishna Prasad, Managing Director of Sowbhagya Media Ltd, and chartered accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg.

Besides the ten accused, five firms -- Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Gagan Infraenergy Ltd (formerly known as GSIPL), Sowbhagya Media Ltd and New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd -- are also accused in the case.

While summoning them as accused, the court had said prima facie offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with sections 409(criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating) of IPC read with sections 13(1)(c) and 13(1)(d) (criminal misconduct by a public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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