New Delhi: CBI was today pulled up by a Delhi court for not properly probing the “crucial aspects” regarding the alleged roles of government officials in allocating coal blocks to Navbharat Power Pvt Ltd which was chargesheeted in the case along with its two top executives.
The court observed that it was not inclined to summon the accused—Navbharat Power Pvt Ltd, its Managing Director and Vice-Chairman Harishchandra Prasad and its Chairman P Trivikrama Prasad—at this stage as “piecemeal cognisance” of the charge sheet cannot be taken.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Gaurav Rao also observed that taking cognisance of CBI's charge sheet or summoning the accused when the probe was still pending will be nothing “short of mockery”.
The court directed the CBI's investigating officer (IO) to conclude the probe by August 30, the next date of hearing, and file a detailed report before it by then.
“Accordingly, in view of my above observations, IO of the case is directed to expedite the investigation as taking cognisance/summoning of the accused persons at this stage when the investigation is still pending on material aspects will be nothing short of mockery.
“Piecemeal cognisance cannot be taken more so when crucial aspect of the investigation still remains and important chain/ link of the conspiracy remains to be unearthed,” the ACMM said.
The court also pulled up the CBI's IO saying either he was “deliberately hesitant” to probe the case in terms of Central Vigilance Commission's (CVC) reference or he was “unaware of basic aspects of investigation despite immense experience and expertise at his disposal which he ought to have on account of his tenure in the service/department.”
The court's observation came while dealing a case in which Navbharat Power Pvt Ltd (NPPL) and its officials were chargesheeted by CBI for offences under Sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC for allegedly misrepresenting facts, including inflated net worth, to acquire coal blocks.
The court, in its six-page order, said, “The CVC while its directions/observations/reference had in plain language/ unambiguously opined/recommended for an enquiry against the officials of Ministry of Coal, however, almost two years have elapsed but the investigation is silent as to the role of the above officials despite tall claims made in charge sheet that they had facilitated the company in getting coal blocks as they did not scrutinise the false claims/misrepresentations.”