Coal scam: Court returns CBI's charge sheet

New Delhi, Sep 5: CBI has got a jolt in the Coal blocks allocation scam probe as a special court has "returned" its charge sheet in a case involving a Kolkata-based company, saying it has failed to give any plausible explanation on its queries and reasons for dropping four accused from it.

The case involves allocation of coal blocks to Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd in Jharkhand's Rajhara town in which its directors and unknown public servants of the Ministry of Coal, Government of Jharkhand and others were made accused in the FIR lodged by the CBI in September 2012.

The agency came up with its charge sheet before Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar who asked certain queries from the investigating officer (IO) regarding the final report in which eight accused have been chargesheeted while four have been dropped for want of prosecutable evidence.

The court noted that CBI has not given any "legally admissible logic" for keeping four persons away from the involvement of criminality by merely saying that "no prosecutable evidence could be collected against them during the course of investigation".

"A perusal of the charge sheet also shows that as regard accused No. 1 company i.e. M/s Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd only one Director has been arrayed as an accused while other 4 accused persons (named in FIR) have not been chargesheeted. "

...A bare perusal of the report tobeen filed shows that there is no legally admissible logic or reasoning in the final report which could correlate conclusion of their being no prosecutable evidence against 4 accused persons viz-a-viz the nature of investigation carried out as find mention in the final report under section 173 CrPC," the special judge said.

The court also observed that IO was unable to "furnish any plausible explanation" on the queries raised by it. CBI has informed the court that four of the eight accused chargesheeted by it were public servants out of whom two have already retired.

It also said that the other two accused public servants -- Basant Kumar Bhatacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh -- are still in government service and sanction for their prosecution has not been received yet.

To this, the judge said, "In these circumstances, the charge sheet is hereby accordingly returned with the direction that the same may be filed after obtaining necessary sanction, if available, qua the two working public servants and other necessary clarifications as have been mentioned herein above." 


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