New Delhi, Aug 31: A court here framed charges of corruption, criminal conspiracy and cheating against former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda in a case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of a coal block in the state.
Special judge Bharat Parashar framed the charges after Koda pleaded not guilty and claimed trial in the case. The case pertains to allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand. "Madhu Koda is present today and has signed the charges framed against him. He has also pleaded not guilty to the charges so framed against him and has claimed trial," the court said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has alleged that Koda favoured Jindal group firms -- Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL) -- in allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal block. The court had on August 16 framed criminal conspiracy and other charges against industrialist and Congress leader Naveen Jindal for allegedly giving Rs 2 crore bribe to the then minister of state (MoS) for coal in 2007 for favouring the leader in allotment of a captive coal block.
The charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal breach of trust were also framed against others, including former coal secretary H C Gupta, after they claimed trial. The court said though there was "prima facie" evidence that then MoS, Coal, Dasari Narayan Rao, took Rs 2 crore as bribe, no formal charge was framed considering that he has passed away.
All the accused have denied the allegations levelled against them and said there was no evidence to show that there was any conspiracy during the coal block allocation process. The CBI has filed another charge sheet against Jindal and others for allegedly cheating the government by misrepresenting facts to get Madhya Pradesh-based Urtan North coal block.