The Asian Age

A- G: Don’t can­cel 40 coal blocks


The Supreme Court was told by the gov­ern­ment Mon­day that it “wants reauc­tion of all 218 coal blocks” de­clared il­le­gal. The gov­ern­ment, how­ever, sought its in­dul­gence to “ex­empt” 40 coal blocks that are func­tional and ready for use in power plants.

At­tor­ney- gen­eral Mukul Ro­hatgi said while the Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment “strongly be­lieves in the Au­gust 25 judg­ment”, it will be “happy if we save some 40 of them which are func­tional/ op­er­a­tional”. Ap­pear­ing be­fore a bench headed by Chief Jus­tice R. M. Lodha, Mr Ro­hatgi re­quested the 40 mines not be treated with “one brush” and “can be ex­empted” from can­cel­la­tion and re- auc­tion.

The court was told the coun­try oth­er­wise faced the risk of an acute power short­age.

New Delhi, Sept. 1: The Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion’s move to close the coal blocks al­lo­ca­tion scam case against Ka­mal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd and its direc­tors on Mon­day came un­der the scan­ner of a spe­cial court, which ob­served that the agency’s clo­sure re­port was “de­void of any rea­son­ing or log­i­cal step”.

Spe­cial CBI judge Bharat Parashar said the CBI’s clo­sure re­port lacked any log­i­cal step through which it had come to the con­clu­sion that there was no “el­e­ment of crim­i­nal­ity” in the acts of “omis­sion or com­mis­sion” al­legedly com­mit­ted by the coal min­istry of­fi­cials.

“... With­out go­ing into any fur­ther length of the mat­ter at this stage, I may state that from a bare pe­rusal of clo­sure re­port, it is broadly clear that it is de­void of any rea­son­ing or log­i­cal step through which the in­ves­ti­gat­ing agency came to this con­clu­sion of there be­ing no el­e­ment of crim­i­nal­ity in the im­pugned acts of omis­sion or com­mis­sion com­mit­ted by the of­fi­cers/ of­fi­cials of the coal min­istry,” the judge said. The ob­ser­va­tion came when the court sought clar­i­fi­ca­tion from the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer ( IO) about the clo­sure re­port. As the IO was un­able to an­swer prop­erly on court’s query, the judge posted the mat­ter for fur­ther ar­gu­ments on Septem­ber 9 say­ing it would be ap­pro­pri­ate to hear spe­cial pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor R. S. Cheema on the is­sue. Mr Cheema was not present in the court­room dur­ing the hear­ing.

“How­ever, as the SPP is not avail­able to­day so at this stage, I am re­frain­ing my­self from mak­ing any fur­ther ob­ser­va­tions as it will be ap­pro­pri­ate to hear him first,” the judge said.

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