Millennium Post

Coalgate: CBI files progress report on further probe

The investigating officer (IO) said the matter regarding the alleged roles of public servants and company officials was being investigated and the agency was pursuing it.

“IO states that the matter is being pursued in their office for forwarding to the competent authority. Accordingly, the matter now be put up for progress report of further investigation on February 16,” Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said.

The court had earlier directed CBI to further probe the alleged role and collusion between public servants and company officials observing that functioning of then Prime Minister Office (PMO) officials “does not appear to be above board”.

The court had said that when there were specific remarks by then Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao that GIL was “not eligible” for allocation of Lohara (east) coal block in Maharashtra, the PMO officials should have highlighted the same before the file was submitted to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was also the Coal Minister at that time.

CBI had chargesheeted GIL and one of its Director, Mukesh Gupta, as accused for the offence under section 420 (cheating) of the IPC.

The agency, in its charge sheet, has said that sufficient incriminating evidence warranting prosecution of GIL’s another Director Seema Gupta or any other public servant involved in the entire process could not come on record.

The court, in its order, had asked CBI to place before the sanctioning authority the records of the case so that they could consider the question of according sanction to prosecute two public servants -- K S Kropha, then Joint Secretary in Coal Ministry, and Vishwas Sawakhande, Director of Directorate ofGeology and Mining Maharashtra government, for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

It had also observed that then Coal Secretary H C Gupta had since retired from government service and there was no need to get sanction to prosecute under section 19 of the PCA.

According to CBI, the 34th Screening Committee had jointly allotted Lohara (east) Coal Block to M/s GIL and to M/s Murli Agro Products Pvt Ltd and letter of allotment was issued on June 27, 2008.
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