Framing of charges against JIPL and Rungtas’ ordered
Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Ltd (JIPL) and its two directors R C Rungta and R S Rungta were on Monday ordered to be put on trial in a coalscam case by a special court which observed that they prima facie conspired to secure allotment of coal block on the basis of false and forged documents.
The court said prima facie charges of cheating, conspiracy and forgery was made out against the three accused and fixed the matter for March 16 for formal framing of charges against them.
The court ordered framing of charges against them for the alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using a forged document as genuine) of the IPC.
It, however, said that no charge under section 477-A of the IPC (falsification of accounts), as alleged by the CBI in its charge sheet filed against the accused, was made out. “Accordingly prima facie offences under section 120-B/420/ 467/468 and 471 IPC are made out against all the accused persons i.e M/s JIPL, R C Rungta and R S Rungta. It is however true that no offence u/s 477-A is made out against the accused persons as accused persons were not having the relationship of employer and employee with the MOC or any other authority,” Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said.
In its order, the court said, “...it is thus prima facie clear that the accused persons entered into a criminal conspiracy with a view to secure allotment of a coal block (an important nationalized natural resource of the country) from Ministry of Coal, Government of India, on the basis of false and forged documents.”
The court noted that it was prima facie clear that the accused “fraudulently and dishonestly” used forged documents to secure the coal block knowing fully well that the same were forged.
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of North Dhadu coal block in Jharkhand to JIPL.
Regarding the contentions of defence counsel that offences alleged against the accused were triable by a magisterial court as there was no offence under Prevention of Corruption Act, the court said it was “per-se not tenable”.
The judge said that the July 25, 2014 order passed by the Supreme Court clearly said that special court was constituted to deal and exclusively try offences pertaining to coal block allocation matters.