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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Coal scam: SC appoints adv RS Cheema as SPP

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 25, 2014
First Published: 19:37 IST(25/7/2014) | Last Updated: 19:45 IST(25/7/2014)

The Supreme Court on Friday appointed Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar as the Special Judge in all the cases arising out of the coal block allocation scam. The apex court also named senior advocate R S Cheema as Special Public Prosecutor.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha and comprising of Justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph said trial of the coal scam cases will be conducted on a daily basis, and have said that no court but itself will have the power to entertain or intervene in matters arising from the trial. Competent authorities have been directed to notify these appointments within 2 weeks.

A Chandigarh based criminal senior lawyer, Cheema will have access to all evidence amassed in the during  2 yearlong investigation, the court ordered, adding that he was permitted to have a team of lawyers to assist him.

Earlier the court had proposed senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium as the Special PP to try the coalgate matters, but he was unable to take on the assignment due to prior work commitments. "We need a good criminal lawyer who can spare time," the bench mused, and Cheema emerged as the unanimous choice.

Others whose names came up for consideration were senior advocates K V Vishwanathan and Siddharth Luthra but they were ruled out because of conflict of interest and later Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh suggested the name of Cheema and after getting his consent and agreement from all the stakeholders, the bench passed its order.

On Thursday, the CBI had registered two fresh FIRs in the coal scam allocation case. Sources say fourteen more cases will be lodged shortly.


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