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Former Minister of State for Coal Santosh Bagrodia summoned as accused


Former Minister of State for Coal Santosh Bagrodia, ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta and retired public servant L S Janoti, were summoned as the accused by a Special Court in connection with a coal scam case.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar took cognisance of CBI”s final report in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Bander coal block in Maharashtra to accused firm AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd.

The court summoned the accused for the alleged offences under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) under IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.

It summoned them for August 18 in the case in which CBI had earlier charge sheeted Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda, AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd and its Director Manoj Jayaswal as accused in the case.

The court, in its January 30 order, had observed that Bagrodia, Gupta and Janoti allegedly committed criminal misconduct and facilitated AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd to unlawfully obtain the coal block.

It had also directed CBI to probe further in the case and had asked the agency to place relevant records of the matter before the sanctioning authority to consider according of the sanction to prosecute Janoti under the PC Act as he was then an active public servant.

Janoti, who was earlier posted in Ministry of Coal, retired as Under Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
CBI had earlier told the court that the issue of grant of sanction to prosecute Janoti was still pending before the competent authority and since more than four months have elapsed, it should be deemed that the sanction to try him was granted.

The court had earlier granted bail to Vijay Darda, Devendra and Jayaswal after they had appeared before it. Vijay Darda had denied the allegations against him.

Regarding Janoti, the court had observed that he had allegedly prepared a “misleading note” on the issue relating to coal block allocation which, in the overall facts and circumstances, appeared to be a deliberate move on his part to benefit AMR and its directors.

The charge sheet was filed against the accused on May 27 last year for alleged offences under IPC and PC 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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