New Delhi: CBI told a special court, on Thursday, that there has been "no progress" on the issue relating to grant of sanction by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to prosecute two public servants for their alleged involvement in a coal block allocation scam case.
The agency submitted that relevant case records were sent to the competent authority for considering according sanction to try K S Kropha, then Joint Secretary of Ministry of Coal, and K C Samaria, then Director (Coal Allocation-I section) in the Coal Ministry, for the alleged offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
It said as over four-and-a-half months have elapsed since the records were sent to the competent authority, the court should deem that sanction has been granted to prosecute these accused in terms of the judgement passed by the Supreme Court.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar perused the written submissions filed by CBI prosecutors and said that he would decide on the issue regarding sanction on July 22.
"Some written submission has been submitted by the senior public prosecutor qua the issue that more than four-and-half months have elapsed since the time the records were sent to the competent authority in terms of order dated November 12, 2014 for considering according of sanction but no action has been taken so this court should draw inference that sanction has been deemed to be granted," the court said.
"Accordingly, put up the matter for consideration on July 22," it said.
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of coal block in Rampia in Odisha to Navbharat Power Pvt Ltd (NPPL).
The court, in its order of November 12, last year, had said that the acts of former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and the then senior officials of the Ministry of Coal (MoC) in overlooking alleged misrepresentation by NPPL for acquiring coal block, prima facie amounted to criminal misconduct.
The court in its November order had asked CBI to place the case records before the competent authority for according of sanction to try these two persons.
It had noted that while Gupta has retired, Kropha and Samaria were still in service and prior sanction was required to prosecute them.
CBI had informed the court that NPPL director K V B Reddy has intimated that name of the company has since been changed to M/s Brahmani Thermal Power Pvt Ltd.
The court had earlier directed CBI to further probe the matter in which it had filed a charge sheet against NPPL, its Chairman P Trivikrama Prasad and Managing Director and Vice-Chairman Y Harish Chandra Prasad.
The judge had differed from CBI's conclusion that no malafide intention was found on part of the public servants, saying it was prima facie clear that decision of allocating coal block to NPPL was taken by the MoC officers and screening committee, without keeping public interest in mind.
The court has kept pending CBI's final reports in which it had earlier named NPPL and its two executives in a charge sheet. A supplementary report was later on filed saying no offence was found to have been committed by the public servants.
The charge sheet was filed against NPPL and its officials for offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of IPC for allegedly misrepresenting facts, including inflated net worth, to acquire coal block.
CBI had alleged that net worth of the firm applying for coal blocks was an important factor to determine its financial strength and NPPL had fraudulently claimed in its application that it was supported by Globeleq Singapore Pvt Ltd, Navbharat Ventures Ltd and Mahalaxmi Group Ltd.