Coal scam case: Court directs CBI to further investigate

Coal scam case: Court directs CBI to further investigate

A special court today directed CBI to further investigate a coal blocks allocation case involving Navbharat Power Pvt Ltd (NPPL) and its officials in which the agency has filed two final reports.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar ordered further probe in the case and directed the CBI to file its progress report on December 16.

"Vide separate detailed order matter has been sent for further investigation. Matter has now been fixed for December 16 for filing of progress report," the court said.

CBI had filed charge sheet against NPPL, its Managing Director and Vice-Chairman Harish Chandra Prasad and Chairman P Trivikrama Prasad.

The agency had also filed a supplementary final report in the case, saying no offence was found to have been committed by the public servants.

The Supreme Court-appointed special public prosecutor R S Cheema, however, had differed with the CBI on giving clean chit to ex-coal secretary H C Gupta and two other serving public servants, saying they had "illegally allocated" coal blocks to the firm.

Cheema had said that CBI's supplementary final report, giving clean chit to Gupta and public servants, was kind of a full charge sheet and if the court feels, it can take cognisance of the offences.

The charge sheet was filed against NPPL and its officials for offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of IPC for allegedly misrepresenting facts, including inflated net worth, to acquire coal blocks in Rampia and Dip Side of Rampia in Odisha.

CBI had earlier alleged that the net worth of the firm applying for coal blocks was an important factor to determine its financial strength and NPPL had fraudulently claimed in its application that it was supported by Globeleq Singapore Pvt Ltd, Navbharat Ventures Ltd and Mahalaxmi Group Ltd.

NPPL and its officials were named as accused by the agency for allegedly conspiring and cheating by misrepresenting facts to "embellish" its applications to get allotments between 2006 and 2009.

The FIR in the case was lodged after a preliminary enquiry was initiated by CBI on a reference by CVC.

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