Jharkhand: A special court on Thursday fixed September 21 to begin recording of prosecution evidence in a coal scam case in which former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, former Coal Secretary HC Gupta and seven other accused have been put on trial.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar put up the matter for trial after the process of admission or denial of documents by the accused under the provision of CrPC was completed on Thursday.
"The exercise under section 294 CrPC stands completed qua all accused persons," the judge said, adding, "Matter be now put up for prosecution evidence on September 21."
Besides Koda and Gupta, the court had also framed charges against former Jharkhand Chief Secretary Ashok Kumar Basu, two public servants, Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL), its director Vaibhav Tulsyan,
Koda's alleged close aide Vijay Joshi and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan in the case.
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North (Central and Eastern) coal block in Jharkhand to VISUL.
The court had framed charges against these nine accused for alleged offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 420 (cheating) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.
On July 14, the court had ordered to put these accused on trial observing that various acts of omission and commission committed by them prima facie made it clear that they had conspired with a "sole objective" to accommodate VISUL in Rajhara North (Central and Eastern) coal block.
Basant Kumar Bhattacharya was the then section officer in Department of Mines of Jharkhand, while Bipin Bihari Singh was then Director Mines in the state.
CBI, in its charge sheet, had said that VISUL had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007 to the Ministry of Coal.
CBI had alleged that although Jharkhand government and the Steel Ministry did not recommend VISUL's case for the coal block allocation, the 36th Screening Committee recommended the block to the accused firm.