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Court pulls up CBI for not seizing coal scam accused Jindal’s passport

A Special Court on Thursday rapped CBI for not impounding the passport of Congress leader and
industrialist Naveen Jindal, chargesheeted along with 14 others in a coal block allocation scam case, saying the agency cannot adopt a different policy for some of the accused.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar also asked the CBI Director to ensure that a uniform policy is laid down for seizure of passports of accused during the probe in the case.

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“It is clear that while a uniform policy which appears to have been adopted by CBI is that passports of all accused are seized by them whenever a case is registered, but in the present case a different policy was adopted for the reasons best known to them,” the judge observed.

During the hearing, senior public prosecutor V K Sharma told the court that it was decided in CBI’s office that passport of Naveen Jindal will not be seized during the probe. The investigating officer told the court that a notice was issued to Jindal to submit his passport before the CBI but after taking some time he gave a coloured copy of his passport to the agency with a request that his passport be not seized.

To this, the court said, “CBI Director is directed to ensure that a uniform policy is laid down to be followed in all cases in future so that precious time of this court is not wasted.”

During the hearing, the agency said that out of the 10 individual accused, charge sheeted in the case, passports of two accused– Suresh Singhal and Rajeev Jain– were seized.

Court has now fixed the matter for May 6 for considering the CBI charge sheet filed in the case yesterday against Jindal, former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and 12 others in connection with Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block allocation scam case.

Besides them, former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and five firms, including Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, were also chargesheeted in the case for alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.


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