CBI Court takes cognizance under corruption charges against senior bureaucrats

CBI Law Insider

Ambika bhardwaj

Published On: January 18, 2022 at 15:45 IST

A CBI court took cognizance against five people under charges of criminal conspiracy, corruption, and cheating including senior bureaucrats from the Union Ministry of Coal in a Coal Block Scam case (MoC).

On January 12, Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj took cognizance of the offences under Sections 120-(b) (Criminal Conspiracy), 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), and other relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Harish Chandra Gupta, the former Secretary, and Kuljeet Singh Kropha, the former Joint Secretary of the Ministry, were named as accused in the chargesheet.

The Director at MoC, Kailash Chandra Samaria, has not been charged in the case, despite the Central Vigilance Commission’s recommendation. The chargesheet also named the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the private company M/s Prakash Industries Ltd (PIL), Ved Prakash Agarwal, and Ashok Kumar Chaturvedi, the company’s executive director.

The Court did note, however, that the offence of cheating could not be completed because neither the Screening Committee’s recommendations were accepted by the Prime Minister, nor the coal block was allocated in favour of M/s PIL.

This case is related to the Ministry of Coal’s 36th Screening Committee, which made recommendations for coal block allocations for non-power sectors such as cement and steel. It addresses the inconsistencies in the PIL’s application for the allocation of the Urtan coal block in Madhya Pradesh.

The Madhya Pradesh Government did not suggest the allotment of  coal blocks to PIL. However, it has been claimed that HC Gupta falsely advised the PMO that the MP government had done so.

Related Post