A NEW BLOW TO COAL SCAM CASE
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Vishad Srivastava, B.A. LL.B. (H)
India’s one of the most biggest and controversial scam which follows from 2004 to 2009 with 1.86 lakh Crore loss to the Indian economy. It was the estimated figure given by Comptroller and Auditor General who also discloses that loss occur due to free allocation of government of India so as to increase coal productivity but the planning of then coal minister and Prime Minister got failed and this all turne up for free allocation of coal blocks to the companies which they harness it completely. But suddenly this scam came into the picture because of an industrialist and former congress parliamentarian Naveen Jindal.
Naveen Jindal is an Indian industrialist, and a former Member of Parliament (MP) from Kurukshetra, Haryana. He is the Chairman of Jindal Steel and Power Limited, a part of the $17 billion diversified O.P. Jindal Group founded by his father. He represented Kurukshetra in the northern Indian state of Haryana in the 14th and 15th Lok Sabha. His plea was dismissed by apex court. He sought permission to challenge the trial’s court order relating to irregularities in coal block allocation in the high court. Series of events took place before this supreme court order, let’s look at these events in glance.
1.In 2014 Manohar Lal Sharma vs Union of India High Court of Delhi to take order from the Hon’ble the Chief Justice, Delhi High Court nominating an officer of Delhi Higher Judicial Service to be posted as Special Judge to deal and exclusively try the offences pertaining to coal block allocation matters under the Penal Code, 1860, Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 and other allied offences.
2.High Court also specified that all cases pending before different courts in Delhi pertaining to coal block allocation matters shall stand transferred to the Court of the Special Judge as afore noted.
- Court also make it clear that any prayer for stay or impeding the progress in the investigation/trial can be made only before this Court and no other court shall entertain the same.
- On 29 April trial court of C.B.I has framed up the charges against Naveen Jindal and othersfor irregularities of Amarkonda Murgadangal Block in Jharkhand to Jindal group of Companies.
- The C.B.I court on 25 May granted bail to five accused named by the C.B.I in the supplementary charge sheet in the case which pertains to the allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand. The one who granted relief were Jindal Steel’s advisor Anand Goel, Green infra Vice President Siddharth Madra, BSN Suryanarayan, Rajeev Agarwal, Essar Power Vice President Sushil Kumar Maroo. The court has directed the accused person neither to tamper with evidence nor to influence witnesses.
6.The CBI has chargesheeted the accused under sections of criminal conspiracy and cheating of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
7.A bench headed by justice Madan B. Lokur held that the accused in the coal scam case could not go to the high court to get charges quashed.
8.It was added that only the apex court would entertain pleas of the coal scam accused, challenging any lower court order during pendency of trial.
- 9. Former Coal Secretary H C Gupta has challenged before the Delhi high court his conviction and two-year jail term awarded by a special court in a coal scam case.
Gupta, who was the Coal Secretary from December 31, 2005 to November 2008, also sought regular bail from the high court in the matter since the interim relief granted by the trial court, in order to enable him to file an appeal against his conviction and jail term, comes to an end on July 20.
Now coming back to the Supreme Court order on Thursday that dismissed the plea of Naveen Jindal of filing the case in high court for which apex court had made the clear statement that Special Court passed this order to go only to Supreme Court with the view of heavy investigation and this order is also permissible due to larger public interest. Moreover such order is permissible under the provision of Article 136 read with Article 142 of the constitution. It also made clear that the parties cannot invoke the jurisdiction under Article 226 and section 482 of Cr.P.C. so court do not thought appropriate to revisit the order of 25 May 2014.
Apex Court opined that often public interest is off the scene when we think of accused rights but at the same time we overlook the social interest or public interest. In this case also no Article 14 has been infringed as claim by appealant as because the right of petitioner has been given to him but in a different perspective. The matter effects a larger section of people so for speedy and unbiased justice these provision has been made and C.B.I special court had just followed the provisions.Appealant also stated of Article 21 being infringes to which court replied that all the appealant has been given bail and C.B.I is only directed for investigation so there is no infringement of Article 21.