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Probe agency seeks court nod to prosecute govt servants

The CBI on Monday forwarded a request before a special court to grant them permission to prosecute two public servants who have been summoned under the Prevention of Corruption Act as accused in a coal blocks allocation scam case.

The pleas was submitted before Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar to prosecute former Joint Secretary of Coal Ministry KS Kropha, and then Director (Coal Allocation-I section) K C Samaria.
“The IO (Investigating Officer) states that necessary documents have been submitted to the competent authority to consider grant of sanction to prosecute two public servants in terms of order dated October 13. Matter will now be fixed for January 16,” Parashar said.

While summoning the accused in the case, the court had said that public servants had allegedly abused their official positions and acted against public interest due to which KSSPL obtained pecuniary advantage.

Sources said, the public servants need to be prosecuted in connection with a case pertains to alleged misrepresentation of facts, including inflated net worth, by Madhya Pradesh-based company Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL) to acquire Thesgora-B/Rudrapuri Coal Block in Madhya Pradesh.

Earlier, the court had summoned former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, Kropha, Samaria, KSSPL’s Managing Director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia, chartered accountant Amit Goyal as accused in the case. Then the court also refused to accept CBI’s closure report filed in the same matter.

These five individual accused were earlier granted bail by the court after they had appeared before it in pursuance to the summonses issued against them. All of them were summoned under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 420 (cheating) under IPC. However, Gupta was summoned for the offences punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

CBI in its FIR claimed that officials of KSSPL had furnished unaudited balance sheet and had allegedly inflated its capacity to produce sponge iron by 25 per cent.

Earlier, court had pulled up the CBI, saying it ‘cannot simply sit’ over the matter to ‘unnecessarily delay’ the probe. CBI has registered 20 FIRs which are an off-shoot to three preliminary enquiries related to coal block allocation between 2006 and 2009, between 1993 and 2004 and projects given under a government scheme.
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