Jharkhand's former CM Koda summoned in coal block case

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 20, 2015 21:19 IST

Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, ex-coal secretary Harish Chandra Gupta and six people and a company were summoned by a special court on Tuesday in a coal block allocation case involving Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar took cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last month and issued summons to Koda and the others in the case for Feb 18.

The other people summoned are former Jharkhand chief secretary Ashok Kumar Basu, Vini Iron and Steel director Vaibhav Tulsyan, Chartered Accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan, two government officials - Basant Kumar Bhatacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh - and alleged middleman Vijay Joshi along with Kolkata-based Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd. (VISUL).

The CBI filed the chargesheet in December last year in the case against Koda and the others on various charges like cheating and criminal conspiracy, under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

"If the entire process of allocation of impugned coal block as discussed above is seen and analysed, the same speak volumes about the active collusion between the public servants involved in the process and the private parties in whose favour the coal block stood allotted," the court said.

"The public servants involved in the entire coal block allocation process thus abused their official position as such public servants while acting in contravention of directions in which the duties attached to their offices were to be discharged to ensure distribution of the important nationalised natural resources of the country objectively and in a transparent manner."

The court added that they failed to take reasonable precautions so as to safeguard the public interest as was required of them by law.

The case involves allocation of coal blocks to Vini Iron and Steel in Jharkhand's Rajhara town, in which its directors and unknown public servants of the coal ministry, the Jharkhand government and others were named as accused in the first information report lodged in September 2012.

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