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Final arguments in coal scam RSPL’s case from Mar 3

coal CP1A special court today decided to hear in March the final arguments in a coal block allocation scam case in which Rathi Steel and Power Ltd (RSPL) and its three officials are facing trial.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar posted the matter for final arguments after concluding recording of defence evidence in the case.

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“Defence evidence in the case stands closed. Put up for final arguments on March 3 and 5,” the judge said.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Kesla North coal block in Chhattisgarh to RSPL. All the accused have denied the charges against them levelled by CBI.

During the hearing, the court disposed of an application moved by the firm seeking to examine two more witnesses in its defence in the case.

In the plea, the firm referred to some correspondences between RSPL and Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Ltd (CMPDIL) towards deposit of money with the institute and also sought summoning of the related files.

However, senior public prosecutor V K Sharma said the documents were already available on record and there was no necessity to examine the two witnesses as asked by the firm.

At this stage, the defence counsel said as these documents were already on court’s record, he would not press his plea for examining two more witnesses. After this, the judge disposed of the application.

During recording of evidence, the CBI had examined 21 witnesses while the accused had called four witnesses.

During recording of statements of the accused, the court had asked 98 questions each from the firm RSPL and its three top officials – Managing Director Pradeep Rathi, Chief Executive Officer Udit Rathi and AGM Kushal Aggarwal.

The court had earlier framed charges against RSPL and its three officials for the alleged offence of criminal conspiracy read with cheating under the IPC, observing that they had conspired and furnished wrong information to get coal block and misappropriated nationalised natural resources.

The three accused were earlier granted bail after they had appeared in court pursuant to summons.

CBI had chargesheeted RSPL and Udit Rathi only as an accused for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy and cheating. After considering the charge sheet, the court had issued summons to all the four accused, including Pradeep Rathi and Kushal Aggarwal.

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