January 21, 2015 12:00:44 am
Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda has been summoned by a special CBI court to face trial in a coal block allocation case after it took cognizance of the chargesheet submitted by the CBI on Tuesday. Seven others, including former coal secretary H C Gupta and officials of a private company, have been also summoned along with Koda to appear before the court where the trial proceedings will begin on February 18.
In a 22-page order, Special Judge Bharat Parashar observed that the “entire process of allocation” of Rajhara North and East coal blocks to M/s VISUL “speak volumes about the active collusion between the public servants involved in the process and the private parties in whose favour the coal block stood allotted.”
The court took note of the CBI allegation that the recommendation to the Centre for the coal block allocation was revised by Jharkhand government after M/s VISUL was taken over by companies connected to Koda’s “close associate” Vijay Joshi. “…From a bare perusal of the overall facts and circumstances it is prima facie clear that there was a concerted effort by way of a criminal conspiracy on the part of HC Gupta, secretary coal and chairman screening committee, Madhu Koda, the then chief minister of Jharkhand, AK Basu, chief secretary of Jharkhand, Basant Kumar Bhattacharya, section officer in the Department of Mines of Jharkhand and Bipin Bihari Singh, director of mines in Jharkhand government, along with Vijay Joshi, Vaibhav Tulsyan, chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan and M/s VISUL to facilitate misappropriation of coal by M/s VISUL…,” the court held.
“…Prima facie (it is) clear that the decision made by the screening committee or the subsequent revised recommendation made by the state of Jharkhand was made without keeping public interest in mind…” the court added.
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