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Coal scam: Court to pass order on CBI’s final report tomorrow

New Delhi(PTI): A special court will pronounce its order on CBI’s final probe report on Friday filed in a coal scam case allegedly involving Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda and others.

“Certain clarifications have been sought. Put up for order tomorrow,” Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said on Thursday.

CBI had earlier informed the court that the issue of grant of sanction to prosecute L S Janoti, who has retired as an under secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, was pending before the Ministry of Coal (MoC). It had said they had sought information from the MoC regarding the status of request for accord of sanction to prosecute Janoti, who was earlier posted in MoC.

As Janoti has retired and the competent authority has not refused to grant sanction to prosecute him, there was no bar in taking cognisance against Janoti for his alleged role in the case, the CBI had said.

The court, in its January 30 order, had noted that former Minister of State for Coal Santosh Bagrodia, ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta and Janoti had allegedly committed criminal misconduct and facilitated accused firm AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd to unlawfully obtain Bander coal block in Maharashtra. It had asked CBI to further probe the case in which the agency had chargesheeted Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda, AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd’s Director Manoj Jayaswal and the firm, as accused.

The court had earlier granted bail to the three accused after they had appeared before it. Vijay Darda has denied the allegations against him.

In its January 30 order, the court had observed that only Janoti was still in active government service then and prior sanction of competent authority was required to try him for offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The charge sheet was filed against the accused on May 27 last year for alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of IPC and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Regarding AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, CBI had claimed in its FIR that the firm, in its application form for allocation of coal blocks, had “fraudulently” concealed the fact that its group firms had previously been allocated five coal blocks.

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