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Court allows accused to turn approver in coal scam case

Monday, Jul 11, 2016,15:52 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | A special court today allowed an employee of the Jindal Group to turn approver in a coal scam case involving industrialist Naveen Jindal and others as accused. A special CBI judge Bharat Parashar allowed the application of JSPL official Suresh Singhal, who was also an accused in the case, seeking pardon and directed that all facts disclosed by him have to be correct.
The application of the accused (Singhal) seeking to turn approver is allowed…subject to the condition that all the facts (disclosed by him) has to be correct, the court said. The court also asked the CBI to file a report on its further investigation and posted the matter for next hearing on August 10. Earlier the CBI had given its nod to the special court here to make Singhal, a chartered accountant with the Jindal group, an approver in the coal scam case.
Besides Naveen Jindal, former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, exJharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and 12 others are also accused in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and GSIPL in 2008.
The court had reserved its order on Singhal’s plea after the probe agency submitted that as per the investigation conducted so far, the accused is likely to help in the prosecution and the CBI had no objection on his application. Earlier, the court had allowed CBI to quiz Singhal and further probe the matter before answering his application.
During the proceedings, CBI told the court that probe was being conducted in the matter and it had recorded the statement of the accused and recovered certain documents. The court took strong note of several accused filing unnecessary applications before it and asked them to refrain from doing so.
On April 29, the court had ordered framing of charges against the accused for criminal conspiracy, cheating and other offences in Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block allocation scam case. The court however is yet to formally frame charges against them.
The court had on May 20 allowed CBI’s application to question Singhal on the agency’s plea that before answering to the plea of Singhal for pardon, it wanted to interrogate him to decide whether his assistance could strengthen the case.
The advocate appearing for Singhal as amicus curiae had told the court that the accused was in possession of various documents and could produce them as and when required. On May 11, the court had said that Singhal’s statement be supplied to the CBI for rendering assistance on the issue.
Following this, the documents were supplied to the probe agency. The court had, however, clarified that issue of supplying the copy of Singhal’s statement to the counsel representing other accused would be decided after hearing the arguments advanced by the probe agency.
While seeking pardon, Singhal had made a disclosure statement in the case which was recorded by a magistrate and placed before the special judge in a sealed cover. Apart from Jindal, Rao and Koda, the court had also ordered to put on trial former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and 11 others, who were chargesheeted by the CBI in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to and GSIPL.
The other accused in the case are Rajeev Jain, Director of Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Girish Kumar Suneja and Radha Krishna Saraf, Directors of GSIPL, Singhal, also Director of New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd, K Ramakrishna Prasad, Managing Director of Sowbhagya Media Ltd and chartered accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg.
All the accused are currently out on bail. Besides them, five firms JSPL, JRPL, Gagan Infra energy Ltd (formerly known as GSIPL), Sowbhagya Media Ltd and New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd are also accused in the case.
The court had on May 20 allowed CBI’s application to question Singhal on the agency’s plea that before answering to the plea of Singhal for pardon, it wanted to interrogate him to decide whether his assistance could strengthen the case.
The advocate appearing for Singhal as amicus curiae had told the court that the accused was in possession of various documents and could produce them as and when required. On May 11, the court had said that Singhal’s statement be supplied to the CBI for rendering assistance on the issue. Following this, the documents were supplied to the probe agency.
The court had, however, clarified that issue of supplying the copy of Singhal’s statement to the counsel representing other accused would be decided after hearing the arguments advanced by the probe agency.
While seeking pardon, Singhal had made a disclosure statement in the case which was recorded by a magistrate and placed before the special judge in a sealed cover. Apart from Jindal, Rao and Koda, the court had also ordered to put on trial former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and 11 others, who were chargesheeted by the CBI in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to and GSIPL.
The other accused in the case are Rajeev Jain, Director of Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Girish Kumar Suneja and Radha Krishna Saraf, Directors of GSIPL, Singhal, also Director of New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd, K Ramakrishna Prasad, Managing Director of Sowbhagya Media Ltd and chartered accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg.
All the accused are currently out on bail. Besides them, five firms JSPL, JRPL, Gagan Infraenergy Ltd (formerly known as GSIPL), Sowbhagya Media Ltd and New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd are also accused in the case.

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