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Coal scam: Court asks CBI to provide all documents to accused

New Delhi:  A special court today took the CBI to task for not supplying all documents to the accused and directed it to provide them all the papers the agency has placed on record in
PTI September 09, 2015 16:49 IST
PTI

New Delhi:  A special court today took the CBI to task for not supplying all documents to the accused and directed it to provide them all the papers the agency has placed on record in a coal block allocation scam case in which former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and others were summoned.

The direction came after some of the accused informed the court that while 241 documents were mentioned in the list supplied to them by the investigating officer (IO) along with the final report, the CBI had given them only 163 documents.

The IO told the court that the CBI was relying on 163 documents which were supplied to the accused along with the charge sheet.

However, Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said, "since you (CBI) have filed 241 documents in the court, you have to give it to them (accused)."

"...I deem it appropriate that as document containing the list of 241 documents were placed on record, copies of all these documents be supplied to the accused," the judge noted in the order.

When the court asked how much time would CBI need to supply the documents to the accused, the IO initially said it will take three weeks time to supply these documents.

To this, the judge observed, "This is not done. Absolutely not done. ... This is happening not only in this case but in all other cases too. The IOs are just filing entire documents in the court so that court looks after it."

The IO, however, said he would supply the documents to the accused as soon as possible after which the court fixed the matter for scrutiny of documents on September 24.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Rampia and dip side of Rampia coal block in Odisha to M/s Navbharat Power Pvt Ltd (NPPL), now known as Brahmani Thermal Power Pvt Ltd (BTPPL), in January 2008.

Besides Gupta, two senior public servants, K S Kropha and K C Samria, BTPPL's chairman, P Trivikrama Prasad and its vice chairman Y Harish Chandra Prasad are accused in the case along with the firm. These accused are presently out on bail.

The court had summoned these accused for alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) and 420 (cheating) of IPC and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Kropha was the then Joint Secretary of Ministry of Coal (MoC), while Samria was then the Director (Coal Allocation-I section) there.

CBI had earlier filed a charge sheet against NPPL, P Trivikrama Prasad and Y Harish Chandra Prasad for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the IPC and had subsequently said in its final report that no offence was found to be committed by the public servants.

However, the court on November 12 last year had disagreed with the conclusion drawn by CBI regarding the role of public servants and had observed that acts of Gupta, Kropha and Samria in overlooking alleged misrepresentation by NPPL for acquiring the coal block, prima facie, amounted to criminal misconduct.

CBI, in its charge sheet, had alleged that the accused had misrepresented facts, including inflated net worth, to bag the coal block.