New Delhi: The CBI today told a special court that the charge of bribery is also framed against Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal and others in a case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block.
The agency made the submission before special judge Bharat Parashar, who granted the last opportunity to accused Jindal and others to file their written submissions by February 16, before the pronouncement of its order on framing of charges in the case.
The case pertains to the allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.
“The charges for offer and acceptance of a bribe to the public servant described and punishable under section 7 and 12 of Prevention of Corruption Act should be framed,” senior public prosecutor V K Sharma, appearing for CBI, said.
The court had in April, 2016 ordered framing of charges against Jindal, former MoS for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao (since deceased), former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and 11 others for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust under the IPC and sections of Prevention of Corruption Act in the case. However, the bribery charge was not framed then.
An additional charge sheet was later filed against Jindal Steel’s adviser Anand Goel, Gurgaon-based Green Infra’s Vice- President Siddharth Madra, Nihar Stocks Ltd Director BSN Suryanarayan, Mumbai-based KE International’s Chief Financial Officer Rajeev Aggarwal and Mumbai’s Essar Power Ltd Executive Vice-Chairman Sushil Kumar Maroo.
During today’s proceedings, the court, which was hearing arguments on framing of charges based on the second charge sheet, asked the accused named in the initial charge sheet whether they wanted to advance arguments on the point of charge.
CBI had alleged that Koda had favoured Jindal group firms — Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL) — in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal block.
It had alleged that five accused named in the second charge sheet tried to hamper the investigation and threatened Suresh Singhal, a chartered accountant who was earlier arrayed as an accused but later turned approver.
All the accused have denied the allegations levelled against them and said there was no evidence to show that there was any conspiracy during the coal block allocation process.
The CBI recently filed another charge sheet against Jindal and others, including Goel and Maroo, for allegedly cheating the government by misrepresenting facts to get the Madhya Pradesh based Urtan North coal block.