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Coal scam: Court fixes March 4 for order on framing charges

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New Delhi: On Monday, a special court fixed March 4 for pronouncing its order on framing of charges in a coal scam case in which CBI had chargesheeted industrialist Naveen Jindal, ex-Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao and 13 others.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said that he will take some time to pass the order on charges in the case as he is going through the documents as well as the arguments advanced by CBI and the counsel for the accused.

 “I will take some time. Put up for March 4,” the judge said.

During arguments on framing of charges, CBI had alleged that ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, also accused in the case, had favoured Jindal group firms — Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Private Ltd (GSIPL) — in the allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.

CBI had also claimed that the accused had conspired with each other to get the allocation of the coal block in favour of the two Jindal group firms. Opposing CBI’s contention, all the accused, including Jindal, Koda and Rao, had said that there was no evidence which showed that they were in any conspiracy during the coal block allocation process.

They had also denied the allegations levelled against them by CBI in its charge sheet. Jindal, Rao, Koda, former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and 11 others were chargesheeted by CBI in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of the coal block to JSPL and GSIPL.

Besides them, the other individual accused are — Rajeev Jain, Director of Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Girish Kumar Suneja and Radha Krishna Saraf, Directors of GSIPL, Suresh Singhal, Director of New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd, K Ramakrishna Prasad, Managing Director of Sowbhagya Media Ltd and chartered accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg. These accused are currently out on bail.

Besides the ten accused, five firms — JSPL, Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Gagan Infraenergy Ltd (formerly known as GSIPL), Sowbhagya Media Ltd and New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd — are also accused in the case.(IANS)

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PM Modi Slammed for “Destroying” CBI: Congress on Alok Verma’s Case

The Congress on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Supreme Court reinstated Alok Verma as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director, saying he has been exposed for "destroying" the premier investigating agency.

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narendra modi
Image: IANS

The Congress on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Supreme Court reinstated Alok Verma as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director, saying he has been exposed for “destroying” the premier investigating agency.

“Modi adds another first to his list. After being the first Prime Minister to be exposed destroying the CBI before the Supreme Court, after having ruined the CVC’s (Central Vigilance Commission) credibility (requiring supervision by former SC judge), Modi has now become first Prime Minister to have his illegal orders set aside by the Supreme Court,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a series of tweets.

His remarks came soon after the Supreme Court judgment pronounced on a plea by Verma and NGO Common Cause challenging the government’s decision on the intervening night of October 23-24 to divest Verma of his charge as head of the investigating agency.

Reminding Modi that the government comes and goes but the integrity of the institutions survive, Surjewala hoped that the judgement would be a “lesson” to the Prime Minister about the strength of country’s democracy and the Constitution.

“Modiji please remember, governments have come and gone. Integrity of our institutions have survived. Let this be a lesson to you about the strength of our democracy and the Constitution. Let this be a lesson that howsoever despotic you may be, law catches up in the end,” he said.

Case Against NDTV Founders
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Wikimedia

Firing salvo at Prime Minister, the Congress leader said: “After making CBI Chief suffer the consequences of your illegal decision for three months, will you show the courage to return three months of lost tenure? Unless you are afraid of investigation into Rafale scam.

“Modi equals to ‘Muzzling of Democratic Institutions’. First, you lose four economic advisors in a row including two RBI Governors. Second, four Supreme Court judges go public on Judge (B.H.) Loya, then you destroy credibility and competence of the CBI and CVC. This is your model of ‘minimum governance, maximum government’,” he added.

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Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi questioned the Supreme Court verdict asking what has changed now.

“Before the Supreme Court verdict; Alok Verma didn’t have powers of CBI Chief, couldn’t take any decision on policy or investigation. After Supreme Court verdict: Ditto,” Singhvi tweeted. (IANS)