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CBI can’t sit over matter to delay probe in coal scam says spl court

The CBI was on Monday pulled up by a special court for its failure to bring case diary of a coal blocks allocation scam case, in which it had earlier ordered further probe, saying the agency “cannot simply sit” over the matter to “unnecessarily delay” the investigation.

“IO (investigating officer) states that pursuant to the orders passed by this court for further investigation, steps are being taken for necessary compliance. However upon enquiry regarding the case diary he states that he has not brought the same today,” Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said.

“The agency, however, cannot simply sit over the matter so as to unnecessarily delay further investigation. The aforesaid position applies not only to the present case but also to all other cases where further investigation has been ordered,” the judge said.

The court noted that about one-and-a-half months have lapsed since the order for further investigation was passed in the matter and clarified to the IO that agency could challenge the order before the appellate court or comply with it.

Meanwhile, the agency filed a progress report of further probe being carried out by it in the case in which former coal secretary H C Gupta, then Joint Secretary of Coal Ministry K S Kropha, the then Director (Coal Allocation-I section) K C Samaria and two officials of Madhya Pradesh-based company Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL) were summoned as accused.

Besides Gupta, Kropha and Samaria, the court had summoned KSSPL’s Managing Director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia and chartered accountant Amit Goyal as accused in the case. These five accused were granted bail on October 31.

They were summoned as accused after the court had refused to accept the CBI’s closure report filed in the matter.

The court has now fixed the matter for further proceedings regarding the progress report on December 22.

During the hearing today, the advocates appearing for the accused, said there were certain deficiencies in the documents supplied to them by the agency.

All the accused were summoned in the case for offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 420 (cheating) under the IPC. Only Gupta was summoned for the offences punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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