Odisha News Insight

Coal Block Case: SC asks Bagrodia to appear before Special Court

Supreme Court on Criminal Past of MPs, MLAsNew Delhi, Sep 7: The Supreme Court on Monday asked former union minister Santosh Bagrodia to appear before a special CBI court here on September 8 in coal block allocation case. A bench of Justice M.B. Lokur, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice A.K. Sikri said it will examine Bagrodia’s plea soon while declining him relief.

Bagrodia, a minister of state for coal in the Manmohan Singh ministry and summoned as accused by the special court in a case concerning allocation of Maharashtra’s Bander coal block to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, had sought staying of the summons in the case on parity with the relief granted to Manmohan Singh in April this year.

The bench’s order came after hearing arguments of senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for Bagrodia, claiming that he was innocent and sought parity with the relief granted to Manmohan Singh in another coal block case.

The apex court on April 2 had stayed the trial court order summoning the former prime minister as accused in a case pertaining to grant of Talabira-II coal block in Odisha in 2005 to Aditya Birla group company Hindalco.

Meanwhile, the apex court brushed aside the Central Bureau of Investigation’s claim that unaccounted cash worth Rs.25 crore seized from Hindalco’s corporate office had no connection with the coal block allocation case.

It asked the CBI to inform it about the status of the probe into the incriminating documents and a diary which was also seized from the company’s Delhi office in October 15, 2013.

The CBI and Enforcement Directorate to inform the court by September 21 the status of the investigations in the Birla diary case.

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