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Reply on sanction to prosecute 2 govt servants awaited: CBI

Reply on sanction to prosecute 2 govt servants awaited: CBI
The investigating officer (IO) told Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar that the response from the competent authority was still awaited. Following this, the court fixed the matter for further hearing on April 22. CBI had approached concerned authorities for considering granting sanction to prosecute two government servants - then Joint Secretary of Coal Ministry K S Kropha and then Director (Coal Allocation-I section) K C Samaria - for alleged offences punishable under the Prevention of
Corruption Act (PCA).

The 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 that state.

“IO states that no information has yet been received from the competent authority regarding according of sanction to prosecute public servants or not and the same is still awaited,” the court said.

“Matter be now put up on April 22 for submission of progress report of further investigation,” it said.
The court had earlier summoned former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, Kropha, Samaria, KSSPL’s Managing Director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia, chartered accountant Amit Goyal and the firm as accused in the case after refusing to accept CBI’s closure report in the matter.

The court, in its order passed on October 13 last year, had noted that since Samaria and Kropha were still in active government service, no cognizance of alleged offences under the PCA could be taken against them due to want of sanction to prosecute them. These five accused were earlier granted bail by the court after they had appeared before it in pursuance to summonses issued against them.

During the hearing on Thursday, the court allowed Samaria to visit Abu Dhabi from March 16-23 to attend an official conference, after his counsel moved a plea seeking permission. Senior public prosecutor V K Sharma submitted that CBI has no objection as the purpose of Samaria’s visit was to attend a conference in his official capacity.

“Keeping in view the overall facts and circumstances of the case and the submissions made, as accused K C Samaria is working as a Joint Secretary in Government of India and has already been admitted to bail on furnishing a surety bond and moreover as he is scheduled to attend conference in his official capacity, so permission is granted subject to the condition...,” the court said.
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