Coal scam case: CBI cannot sit over the matter, says court

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New Delhi, Dec 15: CBI today faced the ire of a special court for failing to furnish the progress report in the further probe ordered by it in a coal blocks allocation case with the judge observing that the investigating agency cannot "sit over" the matter.

"The order was passed 46 days ago. You (CBI) are saying that the report is being sent for forwarding. You cannot sit over the matter. CBI can either challenge the order or comply with it but they cannot sit over it," Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said.

Coal scam case: CBI cannot sit over the matter, says court
The court's observation came while hearing a case in which it had earlier summoned former coal secretary H C Gupta, then Joint Secretary of Coal K S Kropha, the then Director (Coal Allocation-I section) K C Samaria and two officials of Madhya Pradesh-based company Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL) as accused after refusing to accept the CBI's closure report.

Besides Gupta, Kropha and Samaria, the court had summoned KSSPL's Managing Director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia and Chartered Accountant Amit Goyal as accused in the case. These five accused were granted bail by the court on October 31.

During the hearing today, the investigating officer (IO) informed the court that steps were being taken for necessary compliance of the court's order regarding further probe.

The court, however, pulled up the IO for not bringing case diary with him. "Why the case diary is not with you (IO)? Should I pass an order daily that the case diary should be placed before the court?," the judge said.

Meanwhile, the court also issued a show cause notice to the regional passport officer, Bhopal, as to why a cost of Rs 5,000 be not deducted from his salary as it was not satisfied with the documents filed by one of the officials, who had come from Bhopal's passport office, on the petition of an accused seeking return of his passport which was seized by CBI.

The court observed that despite receiving the plea filed by the accused, the passport office in Bhopal did not file a proper reply in the court. The court has now fixed the matter regarding progress report of the investigation for December 22.

It also asked the IO to supply all relevant documents to the advocates appearing for the accused after the defence counsel pointed out certain deficiencies in the documents supplied by CBI.

PTI

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