Coal scam: Jharkhand ex-CM Koda, 6 others charged by CBI

Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu KodaFormer Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, ex-Jharkhand chief secretary Ashok Kumar Basu and six others have been charged by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a case related to the coal block allocation scam.

The charge sheet was filed before Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar, who posted it for consideration on 22 December after the investigating agency said that Parashar will file the necessary documents within two days.

Besides Koda and Basu, former coal secretary H C Gupta and two public servants Basant Kumar Bhatacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh have also been charge-sheeted.

Director of accused firm Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd. Vaibhav Tulsyan and a private person Vijay Joshi have also been named as accused in the CBI's final report in which all the accused have been charge sheeted for the offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) of the IPC and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Senior public prosecutor V K Sharma told the court that out of the eight accused charge-sheeted by the agency two accused, Singh and Bhatacharya are still in government service, so necessary sanction for their prosecution has been obtained from the competent authority.

''In the facts and circumstances of the case, it is directed that IO shall prepare a compilation of the relevant sets of documents initially for consideration of the present final report by the court,'' the judge said, adding, ''Put up the matter for consideration on December 22''.

The CBI's move to charge sheet Koda and others in the case came after the court on September 5 had ''returned'' its charge sheet filed earlier, saying the agency has failed to give any plausible explanation about its queries.

The case pertains to allocation of coal blocks to Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd. in Jharkhand's Rajhara town in which its directors and unknown public servants of the ministry of coal, government of Jharkhand and others were made accused in the FIR lodged by the CBI in September 2012.

CBI had registered the case under sections 120-B read with 420 of IPC and under various provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act against Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd, its directors - Sanjeev Kumar Tulsyan, Prashant Tulsyan, Vaibhav Tulsyan, Nisha Tulsyan, Vimal Kumar Tulsyan, Nirmala Tulsyan and Hemant Kumar Aggarwal.

In its FIR, CBI had alleged that the firm had applied for allocation of coal blocks, including Rajhara North (central and eastern) coal block in Jharkhand having geological reserve of 17.09 MMT.

It had said initially Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd did not have the recommendation of either the ministry of steel or Jharkhand government but the then Jharkhand chief secretary, who had attended 36th Screening Committee meeting on 3 July 2008, had signed minutes of the committee which had recommended allocation in favour of the firm.

The CBI alleges that Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd had fraudulently claimed an inflated net worth and the ownership of the firm too had changed hands during the intervening period of the 36th Screening Committee.