NEW DELHI(PTI): A Special Court on Wednesday rejected plea of Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Ltd (JIPL) Director R S Rungta, an accused in a coal scam case, to summon former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a defence witness.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar dismissed the plea which had sought Singh’s summoning to depose about genuineness of the documents brought from the Prime Minister Office (PMO) and Ministry of Coal.
Regarding Singh, the accused had said in his plea, “He will prove the record of the Coal Ministry and the decision taken by him about constitution of screening committee and its functions and powers and would also prove the corresponding record of the Ministry of Coal.”
Besides R S Rungta, the other two accused in the case are JIPL and its other director R C Rungta.
The case pertains to allotment of North Dhadu coal block in Jharkhand to JIPL allegedly on the basis of false and forged documents.
The court had on November 21 concluded the recording of statements of accused in the case.
JIPL and both the Rungtas were earlier put on trial by the court which had framed charges against them for securing allotment of the coal block allegedly on the basis of false and forged documents.
The court had framed charges against the three accused for alleged offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using a forged document as genuine) of the IPC.
All the accused had pleaded not guilty and claimed trial while refuting the allegations levelled against them by CBI.
In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged that it had found in the probe that JIPL had “grossly misrepresented” a number of aspects before Ministry of Steel (MoS) and Ministry of Coal (MoC) to inflate their claim, thereby inducing MoC officers and the screening committee to allocate the coal block to them.