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Independent prosecutor differs from CBI in coal scam case against NPPL

Independent prosecutor differs from CBI in coal scam case against NPPL

CBI's investigating officer (IO) on Sept 30 had said in a report that no offence was found to have been committed in the case against Navbharat Power Private Limited.

(Photo: Reuters) (Photo: Reuters)

Supreme Court-appointed independent prosecutor RS Cheema differed with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) giving clean chit to former coal secretary HC Gupta and two officers in a coal scam case on Tuesday by telling a special court that they had illegally allocated coal blocks to a company. The court after hearing the submissions fixed the case for October 31 for consideration of the final report.

Cheema's stand assumes significance after CBI Judge Bharat Parashar rejected CBI's closure report in another coal scam case on Monday and summoned Gupta and five others, including a firm, as accused.

Cheema's submissions came in a case in which CBI had earlier filed charge sheet against Navbharat Power Private Limited (NPPL), its managing director and vice-chairman Harish Chandra Prasad and chairman P Trivikrama Prasad. CBI's investigating officer (IO) on September 30 had filed a supplementary final report in the case saying that no offence was found to have been committed by public servants.

"Now, the question is who would be liable? Secretary of coal ministry HC Gupta, joint secretary of coal ministry KS Kropha and director (Coal Allocation-I section) KC Samaria would be liable as it was in their knowledge that misrepresentation was done by the company (Navbharat Power). These three officials had illegally allocated coal blocks to the company," Cheema said while seeking their prosecution.

The charge sheet was filed against NPPL and its officials for offences under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of IPC for allegedly misrepresenting facts, including inflated net worth, to acquire coal blocks in Rampia and Dip Side of Rampia in Odisha.