Coal scam: Court pulls up CBI for filing ‘vague’ report

New Delhi: The CBI today faced the ire of a special court here for filing a “vague” report on a plea for return of passport by an accused in a coal blocks scam case with the judge warning the investigating officer (IO) that cost would be imposed on him in future.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar was unhappy with the CBI’s compliance report on service of notice to the passport officer, Nagpur, and observed that the document placed in the court was “not proper” and “vague”.

“A bare perusal of the entire report and other documents shows that the report is per say vague. It does not say as to whom summons were served and except the word served, there is no other word written on it.

“IO has been warned that in future the report should be in pursuance to rules and procedures of CrPC,” the court said.

The court had earlier issued a notice to the concerned passport officer at Nagpur on a plea filed by accused Manoj Jayaswal, Director of co-accused firm Nagpur-based AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, seeking return of his passport seized by the CBI during the investigation.

The court’s observation came while hearing a case in which Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda, Manoj Jayaswal and the firm were chargesheeted for offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of the IPC and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

During the hearing today, the judge was annoyed as to why CBI had not filed a proper compliance report and warned the IO that it would impose cost on him and it will be deducted from his salary.

“It will not work in my court…. You should file a proper report in the court. What prevented you from writing two-three lines properly in the report. I do not care how CBI works. I want the report in the court as per the procedures of law,” the judge observed.

The court summoned the concerned regional passport officer in Delhi to appear before it on September 26 to explain status of the matter relating to Jayaswal’s passport.

On the last date of hearing, the court had issued notice to the passport officer, Nagpur, after the IO had informed it that Jayaswal’s passport had been sent to passport authorities at Nagpur for the purpose of impounding it.

During the hearing today, a clerk posted at the Delhi’s passport office appeared before the court and said that the matter relating to Jayaswal’s passport has been transferred from Nagpur to here.

“LDC (lower divisional clerk) from passport office, Delhi has appeared in the court. He has been instructed to inform the court that the case pertaining to Manoj Jayaswal has been transferred from Nagpur to Delhi. He has also been instructed to inform that the advocate for passport office is not ready with the case,” the court noted in its order.

The court had earlier granted bail to the three accused– Vijay Darda, Devendra and Jayaswal– after they had appeared before it in pursuance to the summons issued against them.

Vijay Darda, Devendra, Jayaswal and the firm were named as accused in the charge sheet filed on March 27 in which it was alleged that they had fraudulently acquired coal blocks. They have denied the allegations levelled against them by CBI.

Regarding AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, CBI had claimed in its FIR that the firm, in its application form for allocation of coal blocks, had “fraudulently” concealed the fact that its group firms had previously been allocated five coal blocks.

Detailing the allocation of coal blocks to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, the agency had said the Ministry of Coal invited applications for allocation of coal blocks, including Bander coal block in Maharashtra having geological reserve of 126.105 million metric tonnes (MMT).

CBI had said that the 36th Screening Committee, which was headed by the Coal Secretary, after concluding its deliberations on July 3, 2008, had recommended allocation of Bander coal block jointly to J K Cement Ltd, M/s Century Textiles and Industries Ltd and AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd for their proposed plants in Karnataka and Maharashtra respectively. P

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal