CBI court charges Naveen Jindal and four other officials in connection with the coal block allocation
The agency has named 64 people as prosecution witnesses to prove its case
NEW DELHI :
A special CBI court on Thursday framed charges against industrialist Naveen Jindal and four other officials in connection with the allocation of Urtan North coal block in Madhya Pradesh for allegedly making incorrect claims and deceiving the coal ministry for the allocation. The trial will commence from 30 September.
Special judge Bharat Parashar framed charges under sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 against Naveen Jindal, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd’s former director Sushil Maroo, former deputy managing director Anand Goyal, CEO Vikrant Gujral and the company’s authorised signatory D.N. Abrol.
The court framed the charges after the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed trial in the case pertaining to the allocation of the Urtan North coal block in Madhya Pradesh.
“In terms of Order on Charge dated 01.07.2019, formal charges have been framed against all the accused persons to which they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. Case is now adjourned for admission and denial of documents u/s 294 Cr.PC to 30.09.2019," the order reads.
The court had said that “prima facie" the company had made incorrect claims before the screening committee regarding land and the orders placed regarding purchase of equipment according to the 1 July order.
According to the CBI charge sheet in this case, the accused had misrepresented facts in its January 2007 application before the Committee for obtaining the Madhya Pradesh coal block and hence cheated the Coal Ministry to make wrongful gains. The ministry had issued the allocation letter to the firm in October 2009.
The probe agency has named 64 people as prosecution witnesses to prove its case besides annexing 60 documents in its charge sheet.
The charge sheet has said that in the feedback form, the firm misrepresented or made false claims on two counts that it had already acquired 964 acres of land for its Jharkhand-based Patratu project and that it had placed orders for equipment for its Odisha-based Angul project for ₹4,340 crore as reported by PTI.