Monday, February 24, 2014

File charges in 6 Coalgate cases: SC

New Delhi: The SC on Monday directed the CBI to file chargesheet in six cases relating to irregular allotment of coal blocks in which it has completed its probe. A bench of Justices R M Lodha, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph gave the agency three weeks to file the reports.

The CBI, in its FIR, had alleged that JLD Yavatmal, to reinforce its claim for a block, had fraudulently claimed in its application that it was jointly promoted, controlled and managed by the Lokmat group and IDFC Ltd.

‘CBI can probe PSUs sans state nod’
New Delhi: The Supreme Court wants the CBI to file charges in six Coalgate cases. The CBI had filed an FIR alleging that JLD Yavatmal had fraudulently claimed to be promoted by the Lokmat group and IDFC Limited. While stating its net worth, it had allegedly added IDFC’s net worth of Rs 2,544.19 crore and the Lokmat group’s Rs 73.38 crore to its figures. The agency had said in its FIR that JLD Yavatmal would not have otherwise qualified for coal blocks. The company got coal blocks in Fatehpur east (Chhattisgarh).

The Jayaswal brothers — Manoj and Arvind — were named by the CBI in its FIR relating to the allocation of coal block which allegedly fructified after AMR Iron and Steel concealed and misrepresented facts that its group firms were already allocated coal blocks and that it was financially eligible to get the block.

The bench also asked the agency to wind up its investigations, which it has been monitoring for over a year, by April 30 and gave it a free hand to conduct probe against public sector undertakings in states. The court told the agency that it need not seek statutory consent of states to investigate PSUs located in their geographical jurisdiction. The CBI had informed the court that as many as nine states had refused consent in this regard.

When the court wanted to know the reason for the delay in the completion of investigation, senior advocate Amarendra Saran told it that the agency was awaiting response from various countries where letters rogatory had been sent. Saran said out of 169 companies under probe, field inquiry against 149 had been completed. However, in relation to one preliminary enquiry (PE-5) involving the role of 75 state and central PSUs in coal allocation, the CBI claimed that several states had refused to accord sanction to prosecute their officers. Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act requires the CBI to take prior sanction of the state/Centre to prosecute senior public servants.

As the court is monitoring the case, the bench directed the CBI not to await states’ consent.

Addl director appointment sparks row A controversy has erupted over the appointment of an additional director in CBI after the Centre and the Central Vigilance Commission(CVC) locked horns over the choice of an officer whose track record was under question.

The row centred around Archana Ramasundaram, who was appointed as additional director last week, after the CVC refused to send more than one name for the post. Sources in the government said that the Appointments' Committee of Cabinet (ACC) had asked for names from CVC, which decided to send only one name for the post despite receiving a panel of names of three officers from the DoPT. AGENCIES

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