New Delhi: A special court on Friday ordered framing of an additional charge of abetment of bribery against Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal in the case related to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block.
Special judge Bharat Parashar said the charge will formally be framed against the accused on August 16.
Back in April, 2016 the court had ordered, framing of charges against Jindal, former MoS for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao (since deceased), former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, former Coal Secretary HC Gupta and 11 others for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust under the IPC and sections of Prevention of Corruption Act in the case.
However, the charge under section 12 (punishment for abetment of offences defined in section 7 (public servant taking gratification) or 11 (public servant obtaining valuable thing, without consideration from person concerned in proceeding or business transacted by such public servant)) of Prevention of Corruption Act was not framed then.
Defending the accused against today’s court order, Jindal Steel and Power Limited tweeted, “that these additional charges like the earlier ones have emanated from misconstrued facts and evidences without proper appreciation on a legally tenable basis”
We at JSPL are undeterred with such frivolous cases and assure all our stakeholders to have no cause of concern with such news. JSPL continue its quest for Making In India and Making A Difference in line with its endeavour of Building A Nation of Our Dream. pic.twitter.com/ahKUQQsK5u
— JINDAL STEEL & POWER (@JSPLCorporate) 13 July 2018
The press release further stated, “We have done no wrong and are confident that the truth will emerge during the course of the trial, vindicating our stand, we have full faith in our judiciary”.
The case pertains to allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.
In today’s order, the court said the charge under section 7 of the Act was made out against Rao, but since he was deceased, the charge will not be framed against him.
The court also ordered framing of section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) against Jindal Steel’s then adviser Anand Goel, Nihar Stocks Ltd Director BSN Suryanarayan and Mumbai’s Essar Power Ltd Executive Vice-Chairman Sushil Kumar Maroo.
The three were named in an additional charge sheet filed by the agency in the case.
The court discharged Mumbai-based KE International’s Chief Financial Officer Rajeev Aggarwal and Gurgaon-based Green Infra’s Vice-President Siddharth Madra from the case, citing lack of evidence against them.
While arguing on the charge, CBI’s deputy legal adviser V K Sharma had told the court that there was enough evidence against Jindal for trying him under sections 7 and 12 of the Act.
The names of Goel, Madra, Suryanarayan, Aggarwal and Maroo have cropped up in the additional charge sheet filed by the agency in the case.
The CBI had alleged that Koda had favoured — Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL)- both Jindal group’ firms in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal block.
It had later alleged that five accused named in the second charge sheet tried to obstruct the investigation and threatened Suresh Singhal, a chartered accountant who was earlier identified as an accused but later turned approver.
All the accused have denied the allegations levelled against them and said there was no evidence to show that there was a conspiracy during the coal block allocation process.
The CBI has filed another charge sheet against Jindal and others, including Goel and Maroo, for allegedly cheating the government by misrepresenting facts to get the Madhya Pradesh based Urtan North coal block.