A CBI officer, investigating a coal scam case involving former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and others, has been warned by a special court which asked him to “pull up his socks” after he handed over to the accused some documents without even submitting them in court.
CBI Inspector Vijay Chettiar filed a written explanation in the court on the issue and said that statements of certain persons, who were initially named in the case FIR but were not listed in the charge sheet, might have been supplied to the accused by “mistake”.
After his explanation, special CBI judge Bharat Parashar asked him as to how those documents were supplied to the accused when they were not there in the copy of ‘e-challan’ submitted in the court.
“In the scanned copy of ‘e-challan’ submitted in court, these statements are not there but in the e-copy given to the accused, these statements are there. How this happened,” the judge asked the IO.
Responding to the court’s query, the IO said that e-copy supplied to accused were prepared later and these documents might have been supplied to them by mistake.
To this, the court said, “You (IO) start pulling up your socks. This will not go on in the trial.”
The court, which kept on record the explanation filed by the IO, also said that even the documents filed by CBI in the case were not in proper order.
The court on May 27 had asked the IO to give a written explanation after the “discrepancy” came to its notice.
The issue had cropped up during the arguments on framing of charges when the court had noted that statements of certain persons were given to the accused in the copy of ‘e-challan’, “though the said statements were not made part of the charge sheet filed in the court”.
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to Kolkata-based Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL).
Koda, along with eight others, including ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta and former Chief Secretary of Jharkhand Ashok Kumar Basu, are accused in the case.
Besides them, the other accused are public servants Bipin Bihari Singh and Basant Kumar Bhattacharya, VISUL and its Director Vaibhav Tulsyan, Koda’s alleged close aide Vijay Joshi and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan.
The eight accused were earlier granted bail by the court after they had appeared following the summons.
They were summoned as accused after the court had taken cognisance of alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) of IPC and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.
In its charge sheet, CBI 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.