An investigator in a coal block allocation scam has told a special court that the order to file a closure report in the case was given by then CBI chief Ranjit Sinha whose role is under the scanner of a Supreme Court-appointed panel on whether his decisions had led to scuttling of the probe.
The probe officer was recording his testimony as a prosecution witness in the case involving Madhya Pradesh-based Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL) and others in which the court had rejected CBI’s closure report and has been proceeding with the trial in the case.
The CBI had named as accused KSSPL, its directors, Pawan, Kamaljeet Ahluwalia, Prashant Ahluwalia, Amit Goyal and some unknown public servants in FIR for allegedly misrepresenting facts, including inflated net worth, to acquire coal blocks.
The officer told the court that after completing the probe, he had submitted the report to his senior but the final order was received from the “competent authority” to close the case.
On being asked by special CBI judge Bharat Parashar as to who was the “competent authority” referred by investigating officer (IO), in his examination-in-chief, who had directed to file closure report in the case, DSP Sanjay Dubey said “Ranjit Sinha the then Director CBI.”
The controversy regarding Sinha’s alleged meetings with some coal block allocation scam accused at his official residence during his tenure as CBI director had reached to the Supreme Court which had constituted a team to look into it.
An initial report has been given in the apex court by former special director of CBI M L Sharma-headed panel and it is still continuing with its inquiry into the allegations that Sinha’s meetings with accused and others had led to botching up of investigation in the Coalgate cases.
During his deposition, the IO said, “Upon completion of all necessary investigation, I submitted my report to my senior officer in CBI. However, the final order as was received from the then competent authority was to file a closure report against all accused persons. Accordingly, a final report in the nature of closure report was filed by me in the court on March 27, 2014.”
The IO said the court, however, did not agree with the conclusion drawn in the final report filed by him and had taken cognisance of various offences against various private parties and public servants in October 2014 and had ordered the CBI to carry out further investigation.
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to KSSPL.
The court had summoned the Madhya Pradesh-based company and its managing director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia, senior official and Chartered Accountant, Amit Goyal, former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and two government officials as accused in the case.
The other two government officials who were summoned as accused were Ministry of Coal’s (MOC) then Joint Secretary, K S Kropha, and one of its then director K C Samaria.
These accused are facing trial for the alleged offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of the IPC and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.