Special Public Prosecutor R S Cheema's stand assumes importance as special CBI judge Bharat Parashar yesterday had rejected CBI's closure report in another coal scam case and summoned Gupta and five others including a firm as accused.
Cheema's submissions came in a case in which the CBI had earlier filed charge sheet against Navbharat Power Pvt Ltd (NPPL), its Managing Director and Vice-Chairman Harish Chandra Prasad and Chairman P Trivikrama Prasad.
CBI's investigating officer (IO) on September 30, had filed a supplementary final report in the case saying that no offence was found to have been committed by public servants.
"Now the question is who would be liable? Secretary of Coal Ministry H C Gupta, Joint Secretary of Coal Ministry K S Kropha and Director (Coal Allocation-I section) K C Samaria would be liable as it was in their knowledge that misrepresentation was done by the company (Navbharat Power Pvt Ltd).
"These three officials had illegally allocated coal blocks to the company," Cheema said while seeking their prosecution.
The court after hearing the submissions fixed the case for October 31 for consideration of the final report.
During the day's proceedings, Cheema told the judge that from now onwards, every document, including final reports, to be filed by the CBI in the court would be forwarded only through him.
He said he himself would return the documents to the CBI, if there would be any discrepancy in them.
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 blocks in Rampia and Dip Side of Rampia in Odisha. Coal scam case: SC-appointed prosecutor differs from CBI stand
During the arguments, Cheema said IO's conclusion that applications given by the companies to Ministry of Coal for allocation of coal blocks were not properly scrutinised by the officers as there was shortage of manpower cannot be accepted as no requisition for more staff was made by the ministry.
He added that the CBI's closure report was kind of a full charge sheet and if the court feels, it can take cognisance of the offences.
While Gupta, the then Chairman of the Screening Committee, has since retired, Kropha, Member Secretary of the Screening Committee, and Samaria are still in service.
During the arguments on the aspect of net worth of NPPL, Cheema said on the instructions of screening committee and Ministry of Coal, two experts from Coal India Ltd (CIL) were called and they were asked to give their report which was missing.
"They (experts) performed the exercise. But the disturbing aspect is that their report is missing from the record. So we do not know what was their report," he said, adding that an enquiry was conducted regarding missing files but the report could not be found.
CBI had earlier alleged that the 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.
NPPL and its officials were named as accused by the agency for allegedly conspiring and cheating by misrepresenting facts to "embellish" its applications to get allotments between 2006 and 2009.
The FIR in the case was lodged after a preliminary enquiry was initiated by CBI on a reference by CVC.
Yesterday in another coal scam case, the court had refused to accept CBI's closure report and summoned as accused Gupta, Kropha and Samaria.
The court had also issued summons to Madhya Pradesh-based Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Limited (KSSPL), its Managing Director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia and Chartered Accountant Amit Goyal asking them to appear before it on October 31.
They were summoned as accused for the offences including cheating, criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by public servant and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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