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Coalscam: Order on charge framing in Rathi Steel and Power Limited case on May 19

Coalscam: Order on charge framing in Rathi Steel and Power Limited case on May 19

The accused were chargesheeted for alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the IPC.

New Delhi: A special court on Thursday fixed May 19 for pronouncing its order on framing of charges in a coal blocks allocation scam case allegedly involving Delhi-based Rathi Steel and Power Limited (RSPL) and its three officials.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Prashar posted the order for May 19 in the case in which RSPL and its top officials - Managing Director Pradeep Rathi, Chief Executive Officer Udit Rathi and AGM Kushal Aggarwal have been chargesheeted by the CBI.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Kesla North coal block in Chhattisgarh to RSPL.

The accused were chargesheeted for alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the IPC.

During the arguments on framing of charges in the case, all the accused had contended that CBI has "miserably" failed to show that there was a loss to the government or anybody else due to the allocation of coal block to RSPL.

The defence counsel had said that the accused firm has not extracted any coal from the Kesla north block and there was no wrongful gain or corresponding loss to anybody.

He had argued that prima facie offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy were not made out against the accused.

CBI, however, had countered their submissions saying RSPL and its officials had "misrepresented" facts before the 36th screening committee regarding acquisition of 250 acres of land to acquire the coal block.

The three individual accused were earlier granted bail by the court after they had appeared before it pursuant to the summons issued against them.

CBI had chargesheeted RSPL and Udit Rathi only as an accused for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy and cheating. RSPL was allocated Kesla North coal block in Korba, Chhattisgarh on August 5, 2008.

The court had issued summons to the accused after taking cognisance of CBI's charge sheet while observing that they allegedly deceived the Ministry of Coal by "misrepresenting" facts regarding possession of land which was a key factor in allocation of coal block.

It had noted that these officials had appeared before the screening committee for making a presentation and submitting a feedback form on February 7, 2008 on behalf of RSPL.

CBI had lodged an FIR against RSPL, its directors, Udit Rathi and members of the 36th screening committee and other unnamed persons for the offences under sections 120-B, 420 of IPC and under Prevention of Corruption Act.

A charge sheet was later filed against RSPL and Udit Rathi only. Regarding other directors of RSPL or members of the 36th screening committee, CBI had said allegations against them could not be substantiated during the probe.

first published:May 07, 2015, 18:24 IST