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Coalscam: Court allows CBI’s plea to place fresh documents


New Delhi:  A special court has allowed a plea filed by CBI seeking its permission to place on record some fresh documents and adding names of six more witnesses in a coal block allocation case involving Delhi-based Rathi Steel and Power Limited (RSPL) and its three officials.

The agency had moved an application before Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar saying names of six witnesses were “inadvertently” not mentioned in the list of witnesses at the time of filing of charge sheet by investigating officer (IO).

“It will be also worthwhile to mention that the present case is at its initial stage and the recording of evidence of prosecution witnesses is yet to commence and thus in my considered opinion no prejudice will be caused to the accused persons if the present application is allowed,” the judge said.

Senior public prosecutor V K Sharma told the court that these six witnesses had produced certain documents before the IO during the probe.

Regarding the documents which were sought to be placed on record by CBI, the prosecutor said that they would be relevant for proper adjudication of the case.

The counsel appearing for the accused opposed CBI’s plea contending that their application was silent as to by whose “inadvertent mistake the documents could not be earlier placed on record or the names of some witnesses could not be added.”

The defence counsel also argued that great prejudice would be caused to the accused if CBI’s application was allowed.

While allowing CBI’s plea, the judge also said, “At the outset, I may state that undoubtedly while filing the charge sheet CBI ought to have been careful in placing on record all the relevant and relied upon documents and for also mentioning the names of all witnesses in the list of witnesses.”

The court had earlier put on trial RSPL and its three top officials – Managing Director Pradeep Rathi, Chief Executive Officer Udit Rathi and AGM Kushal Aggarwal – for alleged offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Kesla North coal block in Chhattisgarh to RSPL.

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