NEW DELHI: CBI today informed a special court that administrative approval has been obtained for sending records to the competent authority for considering grant of sanction to prosecute a Ministry of Coal official for his alleged role in a coal blocks allocation case.
The CBI's investigating officer (IO) said that necessary documents and records of the case would be sent to the competent authority within a couple of days.
The agency's move came after the court on January 30 had said that former Minister of State for Coal Santosh Bagrodia, ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta and MoC official L S Janoti had allegedly committed criminal misconduct and facilitated AMR Iron and Steel Pvt to unlawfully obtain a coal block.
"It has been submitted by IO that administrative approval has since been obtained for sending the records to competent authority for considering according of sanction qua L S Janoti, section officer, CA-I, MoC and that the necessary records will be sent within a couple of days," Special Judge Bharat Parashar said and fixed the matter for February 23.
The court, in its January 30 order, had asked the CBI to further investigate the case in which the agency has already chargesheeted Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda, Director of AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd Manoj Jayaswal and the firm, as accused.
It had noted that Bagrodia, Gupta and Janoti had allegedly entered into a conspiracy with private parties in the allocation of Bander coal block in Maharashtra to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt.
The court had also said that out of these three persons, only Janoti was still in active government service and prior sanction of the competent authority was required to prosecute him for offence punishable under Prevention of Corruption Act.
Regarding Janoti, the court had observed that he allegedly prepared a "misleading note" on the issue relating to coal block allocation which in the overall facts and circumstances, appeared to be a deliberate move on his part to benefit AMR and its directors.
Vijay and Devendra Darda, Jayaswal and the firm were named in the charge sheet as accused for offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of IPC and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The court had earlier granted bail to Vijay, Devendra and Jayaswal after they had appeared before it in pursuance to the summons issued against them.
Vijay, Devendra, Jayaswal and the firm were named as accused in the charge sheet filed on March 27 last year in which CBI had alleged that they had fraudulently acquired the coal blocks. Darda has denied the allegations against him.
Regarding AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, CBI had claimed in its FIR that the firm, in its application form for allocation of coal blocks, had "fraudulently" concealed the fact that its group firms had previously been allocated five coal blocks.