Court raps CBI for not quizzing coal ministry officials in Coalgate
A Delhi court slammed Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for not questioning official of coal ministry, while refusing to take cognisance on charges alleged by it in coal block allocation scam against Hyderabad-based Navbharat Power Pvt Ltd (NPPL).
After the case registered on 1 June 2012, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had recommended investigation against officials of coal ministry for alleged corruption in allocation of coal blocks to private companies during the period of 2006 to 2009. ‘The observation and reference made by the CVC cannot be ignored or kept in cold freezer’, the court observed.
Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Gaurav Rao asked that why officials of coal ministry are not being interrogated which finally allocated the coal block to NPPL. ‘The purpose for which reference was made by CVC to CBI is to question the role of officials of coal ministry, which has been sidetracked and the investigation seems to have been concentrated on the representation made by the company and its director or chairman,’ the court said.
The CBI on 10 March in its first chargesheet against Navabharat Power has named company’s director and vice-chairman Y Harish Chandra Prasad and chairman P Trivikrama Prasad. The court also pulled up the Investigating Official (IO) of the central probe agency for not laying his hands over alleged facilitator in the coal ministry. ‘Either the IO is deliberately hesitant to probe the matter in terms of reference of the CVC or unaware of the basic aspects of investigation’, the court stated.
While refusing to take cognisance and summoning the accused, Rao said, ‘IO of the case is directed to expedite the investigation as taking cognisance or summoning accused at this stage when the investigation is still pending on material aspects will be nothing short of mockery.’
Suspecting about improper investigation the court noted that charges of corruption is removed from charge sheet, which was present in the FIR.