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Coal scam: Special court commences trial in JIPL’s case

Coal Import

New Delhi: A special court today commenced trial in a coal block allocation scam case involving Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Ltd (JIPL) and its two directors by recording the statement of a bank official who had accompanied the CBI team that had searched the house of an accused.

P K Mishra, now a branch manager of Punjab National Bank at Odisha, appeared before the court as the first CBI witness and spoke about the search conducted at the residence of JIPL director R S Rungta, who is facing trial.

He told Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar that on March11, 2013 while being posted at Ranchi, he had gone to CBI office there where an agency officer and a law officer in Ranchi’s Central Bank, P N Pathak, asked him to accompany the search team.

The witness also identified R S Rungta, who was present in the court, as one of the persons who was present in the house when the four-member search team reached there.

“During the course of search operation, some documents were recovered from the cupboard of one bedroom on the ground floor itself,” he told the court.

After carrying out the search, a report was prepared by CBI officers and he and Pathak had signed it, Mishra said.

On being shown the document by senior public prosecutor A P Singh, he identified his signature on it and said, “I had put my signatures on all the documents which were recovered though I have not gone through the contents of the said documents.”

He said that after carrying out the search in the house, the team visited the office premises of R S Rungta and recovered a number of documents from there too. “A number of documents were recovered from over there and were also taken into possession in our presence,” Mishra said.

The court concluded recording his statement and fixed the case for tomorrow to record the evidence of another witness.

Besides JIPL, its two directors R S Rungta and R C Rungta are facing trial for alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 467 (forgery of a valuable security), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 420 (cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the IPC.

They are accused of securing allotment of North Dhadu coal block in Jharkhand allegedly on the basis of false and forged documents.

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