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Court directs CBI to expedite probe in coal case against Naveen Jindal, others

By Ians English

New Delhi, Sep 14: A special court hearing the coal block allocation case involving former Congress MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal, ex-Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayana Rao, ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and ex-Coal Secretary H.C. Gupta, on Wednesday directed the CBI to expedite investigation.

"Investigating officer is directed to expedite the investigation," said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Bharat Parashar and set September 28 as next date of hearing.

'Expedite probe in coal case'

The court order came after the CBI apprised that some further investigation in the matter is being conducted and accordingly sought some more time to submit final report.

In the last hearing, the CBI has filed an investigation report in the case in a sealed cover in the court.

The investigation report was filed on the basis of the statement given by prosecution witness New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd Director Suresh Singhal who has turned approver in the case.

Meanwhile Singhal moved an application seeking withdrawal of his name as authorised representative of the accused company.

The court supplied Singhal's application copy to the CBI and Gyan Swaroop Garg who states that now he is one of the directors of New Delhi Exim and asked them to file reply on his plea.

The court on July 11 allowed Singhal's plea for pardon and to turn a government approver in the case and deleted his name from the array of accused persons as he is now a prosecution witness.

It however has clarified that Singhal will not leave India without its prior permission till further orders.

The court in April found prima facie evidence against Jindal, Narayana Rao, Koda and others in a case related to the allocation of Jharkhand's Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Gagan Sponge.

However, Jindal, Rao, Koda and others denied the charge.

The CBI in April 2015 filed a chargesheet against Jindal, Koda, Rao and Gupta, apart from Singhal, Jindal Realty Director Rajeev Jain, Gagan Sponge Directors Girish Kumar Juneja and R.K. Saraf, Sowbhagya Media's Managing Director K. Ramakrishna and chartered accountant Garg.

Five private companies -- four based in Delhi and one in Hyderabad -- were also named in the chargesheet.

They are Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd, Jindal Reality Pvt Ltd, New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd and Sowbhagya Media Ltd.


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